The 78th Vuelta a España begins in one week, and of all the GC favourites, three-time champion Primož Roglič has the most momentum, having just won the Vuelta a Burgos on Saturday. So far Roglič has won every race he’s been in this year: Tirreno-Adriatico, the Volta a Catalunya, the Giro d’Italia and now the Vuelta a Burgos.
Roglič’s Jumbo-Visma triumphed in the Vuelta a Burgos team time trial, and then the next day the Slovenian took Stage 3. On Saturday’s concluding stage, Roglič earned his 76th career victory on the HC Lagunas de Neila summit finish.
Burgos runner-up Alexandr Vlasov will be contesting the Vuelta, but he faces stiff competition to even make the podium. Roglič’s teammate Jonas Vingegaard, the two-time Tour de France champion, gives Jumbo-Visma a good chance of sweeping the 2023 Grand Tours. Standing in the Dutch Bees’ way is new world time trial champion Remco Evenepoel, who led the Giro before withdrawing with COVID-19. Giro runner-up Geraint Thomas and third place Joao Almeida vie for the podium, as does three-time Vuelta runner-up Enric Mas, who crashed out of the Tour on the first day. Almeida’s teammate Juan Ayuso was third place in last year’s Vuelta.
The Vuelta begins with a team time trial in Barcelona and features three summit finishes in Week 1. Week 2 starts with a 26-km time trial in Valladolid but its high mark is a summit finish on the Tourmalet on September 8. The mighty Angliru looms over Week 3.
There will be no Canadians at the Vuelta, mainly because Israel-Premier Tech didn’t get a wildcard selection.