By Graham Jones
and Barry Boyce

CyclingRevealed Historians


Images © Unipublic


Also read:

La Vuelta: A Colorful &
Caliente History

Vuelta a Espana Champions
Living and Dead





Vuelta Picture Recap - Quintessential Spain

Go to Vuelta a Espana 2010: Recap

Experience the 2010 Vuelta a Espana

After 700 years of Moorish rule, Spain succumbed to the Christian Reconquest when Ferdinand and Isabella finally conquered Granada in 1492 and created a united Spain. Islamic rule was replaced by Christian rule, but today relics of the Moors permeate the culture, architecture and the very soul of Andalucia, the region where this year's Vuelta begins.

Along with Cordoba and Sevilla, Granada belongs to the trio of romantic Moorish cities that evoke images of quintessential Spain: bullfights, flamenco, brown hills dotted with olive, lemon, orange and wine groves and, of course, romantic castles. Yet 1,000 years before the Moors, the Romans occupied Spain. There is still evidence of that great culture in abundance with bridges, aqueducts and buildings to be seen everywhere.

These musings may seem to have little to do with cycle racing in general and the Vuelta a Espana in particular, but it takes little imagination to recognize that the architects of the grand Tours utilize the history, culture and infinite variations in geographical features of their beautiful countries to design races that become an integral part of their society. Probably no other sport is woven so intimately into the fabric of its homelands.

This year the Vuelta starts in the south at Seville and heads south. After a long transfer heads northeast to the Pyrenees Mountains. The peloton will pass through Andorra, Burgos and Alto de Cavadonga on its way back to Madrid for the grand finale on September 19th. A brief stage by stage preview follows:

Click on the Stage for the profile

Stage 1 - (Sat) August 28, Seville - Seville 14.4 km Team Time Trial

Stage 2 - (Sun) August 29, Alcalá de Guadaíra to Marbella 173.7 km Rolling Stage

Stage 3 - (Mon) August 30, Marbella to Málaga 157.3 km Mountain Stage

Stage 4 - (Tues) August 31, Málaga to Valdepeñas de Jaén 183.8 km Rolling Stage

Stage 5 - (Weds) September 1, Guadix to Lorca 195.8 km Flat Stage

Stage 6 - (Thurs) September 2, Caravaca de la Cruz to Murcia 148.6 km Flat Stage

Stage 7 - (Fri) September 3, Murcia to Orihuela 186.1 km Flat Stage

Stage 8 - (Sat) Sep. 4, Villena to Xorret de Catí 190 km Mountain Stage

Stage 9 - (Sun) September 5, Calpe to Alcoy 187.7 km Mountain Stage

Stage 10 - (Tues) September 7, Tarragona to Vilanova i la Geltrú 175.7 km Rolling Stage

Stage 11 - (Weds) September 8, Vilanova i la Geltrú to Andorra 200 km Mountain Finish

Stage12 - (Thurs) September 9, Andorra la Vella to Lleida 172.5 km Rolling Stage

Stage 13 - (Fri) Sept. 10, Rincón de Soto to Burgos 196 km Flat Stage

Stage 14 - (Sat) Sept. 11, Burgos to Peña Cabarga 178 km Mountain Finish

Stage 15 - (Sun) September 12, Solares to Lagos de Covadonga 187.3 km Mt. Finish

Stage 16 - (Mon) September 13, Gijón to Cotobello 181.4 km Mountain Finish

Stage 17 - (Weds) Sept 15, Peñafiel - Peñafiel 46.0 km Individual Time Trial

Stage 18 - (Thurs) Sept 16, Valladolid to Salamanca 148.9 km Flat Stage

Stage 19 - (Fri) Sept 17, Piedrahita to Toledo 231 km Flat Stage

Stage 20 - (Sat) Sep 18, San Martín/Valdeiglesias to Bola del Mundo 172.1 km Mt. Finish

Stage 21 - (Sun) Sept. 19, San Sebastián de los Reyes to Madrid 85.2 km Flat Stage



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