2022 La Vuelta a Espana

Five Favorites For The 2022 La Vuelta A España

Five Favorites For The 2022 La Vuelta A España

La Vuelta A España begins this Friday in the Netherlands before the peloton hop on a plane to continue their battle around Spain.

Aug 15, 2022 by Rebecca Reza
Five Favorites For The 2022 La Vuelta A España

La Vuelta A España begins this Friday in the Netherlands before the peloton hop on a plane to continue their battle around Spain. The final Grand Tour of the season often favors climbers, but this year with the opening team time trial and a long 30.9 km individual time trial, that may difficult. 

The race has also become grounds for general classification contenders to prove their strength and ability to lead a grand tour. 

Primoz Roglič will be returning to defend his title, after dominating the last three years. Roglič has not had the best of luck in other grand tours, most recently crashing out of the Tour putting his Vuelta defense in jeopardy. He managed to recover and train in time to lead Jumbo-Visma towards a hopeful fourth victory. He will have plenty of rivals hoping to knock him off the top step. Several names, including Julian Alaphilippe, have question marks surrounding their form since returning from injury. FloBikes gathered our top 5 to watch these next three weeks.

Primoz Roglič

Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) Roglič is back and ready for battle. Since he recently recovered from injuries sustained to his shoulder and back at the Tour, he hasn’t race since. He will have a stellar team backing his efforts, including Rohan Dennis who recently won the Commonwealth Games individual time trial and likely to be the first red jersey leader. Racing fans and rivals will have to wait and see if his injuries will have an impact in his journey to Madrid. Super domestique Sepp Kuss will be alongside him, after assisting the teams’ victory at the Tour. 

Richard Carapaz

Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) Carapaz returns to the Vuelta in search of his first overall title. The 2019 Giro d’Italia winner finished 2nd on GC in 2020. He had dropped out of the Vuelta last season, after finishing third on his first podium at the Tour de France. He made it until stage 14 before bowing out from complete exhaustion. 

Carapaz came close to a second victory at the Giro, behind rival Jai Hindley earlier this spring. However, his performance at the Tour de Pologne last week, proved to be less than stellar. He leads a team consisting of 4 grand tour debutants, with former Giro d’Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart, Dylan van Baarle, and Vuelta a Burgos winner Pavel Sivakov. Carapaz is expected to transfer to EF Education – EasyPost at the end of the season. 

Simon Yates

Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange – Jayco) The 2018 Vuelta Champion has had a season full of ups and downs heading into the 77 th edition of the Vuelta. After promising performances at the Ruta Ciclista del Sol, and Paris –Nice, Simon Yates was forced to abandon the next two races due to ongoing knee pain, including the Giro d’Italia after two stage victories. He returned to racing in late July, winning the Prueba Villafranca, and the GC at Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in an impressive display of form for his rivals. He will have strong men for the opening team time trial to help protect his GC efforts, including USA National TT Champion Lawson Craddock, Michael Hepburn, and Luke Durbridge. 

Jai Hindley

Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) Jai Hindley returns to the Vuelta a España five years after his debut in 2018, this time as a GC favorite. The Australian won his first grand tour earlier this year at the Giro d’Italia, following a close battle with Richard Carapaz in the final week. He proved he could stay cool under pressure, and have the legs to defend in the final days of a grand tour. He finished 7th at the Vuelta a Burgos last week in his lead up to the Vuelta. He will have Colombian Sergio Higuita and Wilco Kelderman to help protect him in the mountains, with Sam Bennett leading the team in the sprints. 

João Almeida

João Almaida (UAE Team Emirates) Almeida proved his climbing prowess and mental strength finishing 4th at the Giro d’Italia in 2020. He had worn the Maglia Rosa in his first grand tour for 15 of the 21 stages. Almeida makes his debut at the Vuelta this week after a stellar season thus far. He won the Best Young Rider at Paris-Nice and was third on GC at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya on his way to a hopeful Giro d’Italia title earlier this year. He was forced to abandon on stage 18, sitting in 4th on GC after testing positive for Covid. 

He returned to win the Portugal national road championships in late June, and finished second on GC at the Vuelta a Burgos last week, after winning the queen stage summit finish ahead of Miguel Ángel López. UAE will have the strongest team alongside Jumbo-Visma, with Pascal Ackermann and Sebastián Molano leading the sprints, and Marc Soler and Brandon McNulty as his domestiques in the mountains.