The 2011 Vuelta a Espana begins Saturday with a team time trial in Benidorm and runs a 3,321 kilometer route through Spain until Sunday, September 11th with a closing stage to Madrid.
Though some are too worn out by a long race season to follow the third Grand Tour of the year closely, we here at PavÃ© keep a close eye on the Vuelta. Those targeting the the World Championships and the Fall Classics often use the Vuelta for training.; teams with a keen ability to develop young talent use the Vuelta as a foundation of experience; and riders seeking revenge for a disappointing July will be extra motivated. Furthermore, riders looking for new teams come 2012 have a drawn-out chance to impress, and teams on uncertain sponsorship ground have a similar chance to impress those with their fingers on pursestrings.
Pave’s pre-Vuelta coverage will take a look at three categories we often eye on the eve of a race: Men of the Hour, for riders from whom big things are expected this Vuelta; On the Hot Seat, for those facing a bit of additional pressure to perform; and Up and Comers, for those riders whose careers just might be on the verge of blasting off. Additionally, we’ll take a look at a fourth category of riders, Training for Worlds, to take a look at those who aspire to pull on a rainbow jersey next month. We’ll offer a preview of each of these categories over the coming days.
Thanks for tuning in.