Vuelta a España 2015

Where: Spain and Andorra
When: August 22 – September 13, 2015
Rank: Grand Tour

Fabio Aru (Astana) took his maiden Grand Tour victory at the 2015 Vuelta a España in a thrilling a race that saw the red jersey change hands no fewer than eight times from the race start in Puerto Banus.

The Italian had all but secured the overall victory on stage 20, reclaiming the red jersey after arch-rival Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), who had three stints in the overall lead during the race, found himself isolated and out-gunned by the collective might of Aru’s Astana team in the race’s final mountain showdown.

Evidently and unsurprisingly distraught at the finish of the final mountain stage after losing around four minutes to Aru, Dumoulin simply said that he had empty legs after three weeks of hard racing that has seen him win two stages and establish himself as a Grand Tour contender.

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Rafal Majka (TInkoff-Saxo) rounded off the 2015 podium after the final stage in Madrid, where John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) took the sprint victory after a gruelling three weeks which included nine summit finishes.

The final overall top-10 is missing two of the big names who started the race however, with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Chris Froome (Sky) forced out of the race. Nibali was caught in considerable controversy when he was disqualified for holding onto a team car, while Froome fractured his foot in a crash early on stage 11.

American Tejay van Garderen (BMC) also dropped out of the race with injury, after being caught up in a crash that saw Lotto-Soudal rider Kris Boeckmans put into an induced coma due to the seriousness of his injuries.

Movistar pair Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana were the only two top-10 finishers at the Tour de France to do the same at Vuelta a España, with Valverde sealing his second UCI WorldTour title after taking a stage victory and finishing seventh overall.

The 21 stages of the 2015 Vuelta took place between August 22 and September 13.