By Tim Bonville-Ginn published
The 2021 Vuelta a España starts on August 14 inside of Burgos' cathedral for the opening individual time trial before setting off on the three-week race that is not ending in Madrid as usual but instead ending outside the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela on September 5.
The race will cover a huge amount of the country while amazingly not going near the Pyrenees over the 3336km route.
It is very normal for the Vuelta to be incredibly mountainous, but this race really does go the extra mile with some massive climbs and multiple summit finishes on brutal gradients.
However, there are some very good chances for sprinters with the likes of Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix), Michael Matthews (BikeExchange) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates).
Other fast men that are attending are former French champion Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) who will want to redeem a disappointing Tour when he finished out of the time limit on stage five as well as Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) who returned to winning ways recently after his shocking crash in the Tour of Poland back in 2020.
The mountains should be the main attraction though with Spain's most challenging ascents being thrown in early with a stage three summit finish on the Picón Blanco with the Balcón de Alicante, Alto de Velefique, Altu d'El Gamoniteiru the famous Lagos de Covadonga and the brand new climb of the Pico Villuercas all on the menu.
Huge general classification names are coming together to fight out for the title of Vuelta a España 2021 champion including defending champion Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) who looks to make it three in a row.
He will be challenged by an immensely strong Ineos Grenadiers team that who are bringing Adam Yates as well as Giro d'Italia 2021 winner Egan Bernal and Tour third overall Richard Carapaz along with support from Pavel Sivakov and recent gold medalist in the Olympic cross-country mountain biking, Tom Pidcock. But Yates and Bernal both came down in a crash on stage one of the Vuelta a Burgos, which could hamper their chances.
Hugh Carthy (EF-Nippo), Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Esteban Chaves (BikeExchange), Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Enric Mas (Movistar) and many more besides are all set to line up to battle for the red jersey.
Tour champion, Tadej Pogačar, however, will not be riding as he looks ahead to the GP Plouay, European championships, world championships and the Italian Classics to finish off his season. He is also hosting an event in Slovenia the day before the Vuelta start in Burgos.
Vuelta a España 2021 start list
VAN HOOYDONCK Nathan
VAN GILS Maxim
LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel
ROJAS José Joaquín
SÁNCHEZ Luis León
Intermarché-Wanty Gobert Matériaux
EIKING Odd Christian
VAN MELSEN Kévin
Deceuninck - Quick-Step
VAN LERBERGHE Bert
LE GAC Olivier
JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt
Israel Start-Up Nation
WÜRTZ SCHMIDT Mads
VAN BAARLE Dylan
LÓPEZ Juan Pedro
UAE Team Emirates
DE LA CRUZ David
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DE TIER Floris
MATÉ Luis Ángel
SOTO Antonio Jesús
LOBATO Juan José
AZPARREN Xabier Mikel
Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!
I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.
It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.
After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.
When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.
My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.
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