When television broadcaster British Eurosport released its 2015 viewing figures last week there was one surprising statistic: almost as many people watched the Vuelta a España as they did the Tour de France.
For years, the Vuelta has often been regarded as the poor relation to the other two Grand Tours: the Tour and the Giro d’Italia.
But this year, things were different. The racing never let up. There were some belting, if brutal, mountain stages and the fight for the overall victory was a proper battle between the front runners, in particular eventual winner Fabio Aru and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin.
Now that the dust has settled on the race, we asked Cycling Weekly readers to give their verdict on those three weeks in Spain – and we were surprised at how positive the response was.
Here are a selection of your answers.
Do you agree? Disagree? Add your verdict in the comment box below.
Brilliant race. I enjoyed every minute of it. I was rooting for Tom Dumoulin all the way but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. You had to feel for him after that final climb on the penultimate day.
Great route, exciting racing, it’s a shame that the win went to such a controversial team.
As a Spaniard, I think this year’s Vuelta was disgusting. One rider in a coma, two knocked off, many injuries and some avoidable crashes. We have some of the best stages in the world, but safety comes first.
Dani Martinez Fernandez
The Vuelta this year has been controversial for safety issues and injuries, however, they did get it right in the end. Thank goodness Boeckmans is now back in Belgium, Sagan is going to the Worlds and Froomey is on the mend. For me, this Vuelta (apart from the above) has been the best and most exciting grand tour in recent years. Tom Dumoulin on his own for the most part, competing against the rest of the peloton. He was definitely my ‘David’ and not Goliath. The young talents have shown we are going to have great cycling for years to come.
Bike racing at its best. Perfect route. Cruel end for Dumoulin but that’s racing. Aru a deserving winner with a big future.
The best Grand Tour this year. That’s how they all should be: jersey changing hands and unpredictable till the last proper days racing.
I really enjoyed it, from the beginning. Totally proud of Quintana and Chávez’s results. Tom Dumoulin and Chavez – almost without a team – were fighting every day at the head of the peloton and finished in the top ten. Congratulations to them! They deserve to race in better teams.
Rolando Sanchez Mora
I think the route was great but the race was made by the old-school, go-for-it racing. Attack, attack, attack.
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A tour intelligently built to cause controversy and make headlines. I would, however, say that it wasn’t as successful as the organisers would have hoped as it split opinion and caused negative headlines at times, rather than showing how good the race was. The team time trial fiasco was particularly ridiculous. I hope they go about it differently next year but I’m glad they’re attempting to make the Vuelta a noticeable race.
More exciting than the Tour de France because the teams seem a bit more willing to attack and take risks.