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Cycling: Vuelta a Espana preview

The third and final grand tour on the cycling calendar, La Vuelta a Espana, will get underway on Saturday and it has all the makings of an epic race.

La Vuelta can often be looked down on compared to the other two grand tours, the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.

However one glance at the field for the 2023 race, which includes Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard, and the detractors cannot help but get excited.

The top riders and top teams will battle it out over three gruelling weeks, and as is the case with all top cycling races, we are set for plenty of thrills and spill along the way.

WhatVuelta a Espana 2023
WhereBarcelona to Madrid, Spain
When26th August to 17th September 2023
How to watchGCN+
OddsJonas Vingegaard 2.20, Primoz Roglic 3.25, Remco Evenepoel 4.75

The route

The 2023 La Vuelta a Espana will begin in Barcelona and end in Madrid and has been build as the El Classico of cycling.

The peloton will ride a total of 3153.8km and they are in for a torrid time as the route is all about climbing, climbing and more climbing.

Only three stages are classified as being truly flat, along with the final stage in Madrid.

The race also consists of a team time trial, and individual time trial, six hilly stages, seven mountain stages and two flat stages with high-altitude finales.

Jumbo Visma look to dominate

The field for the 2023 Vuelta a Espana is stacked with high quality and all being well it looks set to be a battle between three of the best riders in world cycling right now.

Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard is the hot fancy to win the race at 2.20 and much will depend on how he has pulled up from his exploits in France.

The Dane certainly has the capability and the team around him to win, while the route and high mountains will also play into his hands.

However, team Jumbo Visma have an embarrassment of riches in their team as Primoz Roglic is also in with a shout and is priced at 3.25 to come out on top.

It looks likely that Vingegaard will be the team leader for Jumbo Visma, but if things do not quite go to plan for him and he does not have the legs, then Roglic will be ready to take charge.

The Slovenian is of course the Giro d’Italia champion after taking out the race back in May. He should be refreshed and ready to go and Jumbo Visma have a very strong hand.

Remco the main threat

And just to make La Vuelta even more exciting, 2022 winner Remco Evenepoel is also in the field and is priced at 4.75 to come out on top.

Evenepoel showed his class this time last year but was denied the chance to back it up in the Giro when illness forced him to pull out of the race.

It denied everyone the chance to see him battle it out with Roglic for the win, and hopefully there will be no such issues this time.

Ayuso to lead UAE

UAE Team Emirates have no Tadej Pogacar for La Vuelta, but their big general classification contender Juan Ayuso is no slouch.

Ayuso is priced at 8.50 to take the win, and many believe he has the capability of winning should the top three riders suffer.

UAE have a strong team and will throw all their weight behind Ayuso going for the win.

Thomas targets podium

As far as outside chances go, Geraint Thomas of the Ineos Grenadiers is back following his second place to Roglic at the Giro earlier in the year.

Thomas will need a lot to go his way and a place on the podium is probably the best he can hope for. The Welshman, who has won the Tour de France in his career, can be backed at 21.00 to add La Vuelta to his CV.

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