This weekend saw the start of the 2010 campaign for the Vuelta a Espana, the premier Spanish cycling Tour, and this year commemorates the 75th anniversary of the competition in Spain. To mark the occasion, the organisers have changed the cycling shirt colors for La Vuelta. These cycling shirts have changed their colors several times over the years, but recently, they have been similar to those used in the Tour de France. So what are the changes for 2010?
There are two main changes: the General Classification leader is awarded the Red Jersey. This has been used in the past during La Vuelta, but in more recent years has been reserved for the Mountains Classification leader (rather than red-spotted white jersey in the Tour de France). Of course, since the Red now goes to the GC leader, the Mountains leader’s cycling shirts had to be changed too. So the MC leader now wears the new Blue-spotted White jersey (or Blue Polka Dot). The Points leader continues to wear the Green Jersey. There is no Young Rider’s Jersey in la Vuelta a Espana, but there is the Combination Classification instead, which (as you might expect) combines all the rankings in the general, points and mountain classifications. The Combined leader wears the White Jersey.
I will not be giving a blow by blow account of la Vuelta as I did for the Tour de France, but you can follow the daily trials of the riders and teams by checking out the official site of La Vuelta a Espana. Don’t forget to click for your language using the little flags in the navigation bar.
Perhaps the biggest – and possibly most controversial – news pre-tour was the fact that the RadioShack Team were not included this year, which of course means no Lance Armstrong and his team of co-riders, despite winning the Team Classification in this year’s Tour de France.
Last night (Saturday) saw the first stage of the Tour, which was a team time trial around the streets of Seville, won by HTC-Columbia, and led home by Mark Cavendish, who wears the first Red Jersey of this year’s competition. The second stage, today, involves a 174 km ride from Alcala de Guadaira to Marbella, which is currently in progress as I write with Marcos Garcia clinging to his 1 minute lead. Find out more at the official site.
I’ll update on the race every few days for this one, to keep you up-to-date with who’s wearing the leaders’ colored cycling shirts!