The dust has barely settled from one of the most exciting editions of the Tour de France in recent history. Roll on the Vuelta.
The season’s third and final grand tour is lining up to be another one for the books. Reigning champion and three-time winner, Primoz Roglic is looking to make it four in a row. However, there is a long list of riders who want to change the narrative this year. Multiple general classification (GC) podium finishers, along with 5 past winners are all in the mix for what promises to be an enthralling 3 weeks of racing. Known for its association with difficult climbs, the Vuelta also traditionally offers redemption to those who have had a sub-par year. Many a team are in need of results here, in order to deem the year a success. This fact no doubt will ensure another exciting edition of this race.
La Vuelta 2022 Route
The 2022 version of the Vuelta is the 77th edition of this event. Taking place from Friday the 19th of August to Sunday the 11th of September, this year the race kicks off with a team time trial in the city of Utrecht. The next 2 stages remain in the Netherlands and are flat affairs. Moving onto Spain, and the terrain kicks up. Stage 6 offers the first uphill finish of the race. The GC picture will begin to take shape from here.
Known for the brutality of its climbs, this year’s Vuelta is no exception. The peloton will have to navigate no less than 9 hilltop finishes. Riders who are below par will be found out quickly. Also lying in wait this year is an individual time trial of 30km. Specialists against the clock will be lining up to make the most of this stage. The Vuelta concludes with a sprint stage, finishing in Madrid.
Contenders and recent form
A number of riders line up this year with a realistic chance of winning the GC. None more so that Primoz Roglic. The defending champion has made this race his own over the last 3 years. Primoz still dreams of success at the Tour de France, but his recent bad luck there has hampered his aspirations. It is a different story at the Vuelta. Roglic can equal the record of 4 Vuelta wins this year if he is successful in his title defence. The only question is whether he has recovered adequately following his crash and subsequent abandonment of this year’s Tour.
Richard Carapaz, the 2019 Giro winner is probably the biggest contender to Roglic. A podium finisher in multiple grand tours, the Ecuadorian should enter the race in decent form. Just missing out on the overall victory in this year’s Giro, Carapaz is hungry to occupy the top step of a grand tour yet again.
Jai Hindley, if he replicates his form shown at the Giro this year will be hard to beat. So the Australian’s victory at the Giro proved that his second place in 2020 was no fluke. The racing in Spain is arguably more unforgiving, so it remains to be seen whether Hindley can mix it up in the final grand tour of the season.
Vuelta 2022 Talent
Belgian ‘wunderkind’ Remco Evenepoel is a bit of an unknown entity. The prodigal talent has yet to shine in a grand tour, but many believe it is only a matter of time before he makes his mark. His swashbuckling win at this year’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege was a sight to behold. If he can reproduce some of this form, we could be in for an exciting time. The only question mark in Remco’s case is whether he can consistently hang with the pure climbers over 3 weeks.
Portuguese powerhouse Joao Almeida could realistically be in the mix too. Known for his strong time trialling and tenacity, Almeida has shown in the past that he can be competitive when the race goes uphill. So if he manages to hold it together, he could be on the podium at the end of 3 weeks.
Simon Yates, the 2018 Vuelta winner would love to add a second grand tour title to his name. The Brit is, on his day one of the best climbers in the world. His impressive win in the opening time trial at this year’s Giro show’s that he is not merely a 1 trick pony. If he comes into the Vuelta with some sort of form, he could challenge for the overall title.
Other riders with a shot at the podium are Enric Mas, Mikel Landa and Miguel Angel Lopez. While the overall title is perhaps beyond their reach, their respective abilities should keep them in the fight at the front of the peloton.
A sub-story to this year’s GC battle is the fact that both Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde are retiring at the end of this season. Each a previous winner of this race, they will look for any opportunity to make one last statement. A stage win for either would be a fitting end to a successful career.
The form of the GC contenders may take a few days to be noted. However, one thing is for certain- the racing will be red hot from day 1. The team that provides a strong base off of the opening TTT will have already scored an advantage for their GC man. So we cannot wait to see how it all plays out.
Vuelta 2022 Bookie’s Favourite
Bet and Win had a look at who the bookies favour for the win, however there are many stages over 23 days. Here are the Top 5 riders:
- Primoz Roglic
- Remco Evenepoel
- Jai Hindley
- Richard Carapaz
- Joao Almeida
Moreover 23 days is a long time with some tough stretches for these riders, and we have seen time and time again how standings can change in a split second. So for all you cycle lovers head over to our best betting sites listed below, we have done detailed reviews for your perusal:
What we know is that we are in for some exciting weeks ahead! Goodluck, have fun and be responsible. We touched base on Vuelta 2022 in the August 2022 Sport Preview article, and there we list what else is still to grace our attention till the end of August. Have a look at these for the best odds and promos Betway, Fafabet, Hollywoodbets, Supabets, Gbets and bet.co.za.