All the VeloVoices gathered on Monday to give our verdict on the 68th Vuelta a Espana. It may be the last of the year’s grand tours but it was in no way the least, and that’s saying something given how spectacular both the Giro and the Tour were. In the first part of this round-table we focus on the race and the riders, while in part two tomorrow we address some of the broader talking points from the race.
3,360 – In kilometres, this year’s total race distance.
175 – Number of finishers, out of 198 starters.
84:59:49 – Total race time for overall winner Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), equivalent to an average speed of 39.5kph. (Although in reality it’s slightly slower in ‘real’ time if you discount time bonuses.)
Contador celebrates winning stage 17, which set up his overall victory (image courtesy of Roz Jones)
3 – Spanish riders occupied all three steps on the final podium – Contador, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) – the first time this has happened since 2004 (Roberto Heras, Santi Perez and Francisco Mancebo).
7 – Number of Spanish riders in the final top 11 on GC.
4 – Only four riders wore the leader’s red jersey during the race: Movistar’s Jonathan Castroviejo and Valverde, Rodriguez and Contador.
0 – Number of days on which the race was led by a non-Spanish rider.
4 – Only four riders led the green jersey points competition during the race: John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano), Valverde, Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Rodriguez.
4 – Number of riders who led the polka dot jersey King of the Mountains competition: Javier Chacon (Andalucia), Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM), Clarke and Valverde. Clarke regained the jersey on stage 14 and never relinquished it. He held the jersey for a total of 12 days.
0 – Having at one stage held three of the four individual jerseys simultaneously, as well as lying a close second in the mountains classification, Joaquim Rodriguez ended with none. He lost the points and all-round jerseys on the final stage.
It was looking so good for so long for Rodriguez … (image courtesy of Katusha)
29 – Number of riders who finished within an hour of Contador’s total time. Only two riders finished within ten minutes (Valverde and Rodriguez).
4:32:35 – Cheng Li (Argos-Shimano) was the last classified finisher, four hours and 32 minutes slower than Contador. Only eight stages took longer to complete than this.
1 – Cheng Li was the first Chinese rider ever to finish any of the three Grand Tours.
4 – Caja Rural’s Francisco Aramendia won the daily combativity prize for the most aggressive rider four times.
Image courtesy of Roz Jones
29 – Age of Alberto Contador.
1:16 – Contador’s winning margin over Valverde, representing just 0.025% of his total time.
2 – This was only the second time Contador has ridden the Vuelta – and his second overall victory.
5 – It is his fifth Grand Tour victory (excluding the 2010 Tour and the 2011 Giro, which he relinquished as a consequence of his back-dated two-year doping ban.
5 – He is only the fifth rider ever to win five Grand Tours before the age of 30.
1 – Stages won by Contador during the race (stage 17).
5 – Days in the red jersey for Contador, compared to 13 for Rodriguez.
0 – WorldTour points Contador earned for his team with his overall victory, due to his ban.
The stage winners
12 – Number of different stage winners.
4 – Number of riders with multiple stage victories: John Degenkolb (five), Joaquim Rodriguez (three), BMC’s Philippe Gilbert and Alejandro Valverde (two each).
Degenkolb (right, in green) dominated the sprints (image courtesy of Susi Goetze)
8 – Different nationalities who won stages: Spain led the way with seven, followed by Germany (five), Belgium and Italy (two each), Australia, Sweden, Britain and Russia (one each).
10 – Only ten of the 22 teams won stages during the race, with Argos-Shimano leading the way with five, all courtesy of Degenkolb.
1 – Simon Clarke‘s win on stage four was his first professional race victory, in his fourth pro season. His last race win of any kind was in June 2008.
1 – Clarke’s victory in the King of the Mountains competition was the first Grand Tour jersey win for Orica-GreenEDGE in their debut season.
0 – Philippe Gilbert‘s victory total in 2012 before his two wins here.
And a few other random stats …
1 – Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) became the only rider in 2012 to finish all three Grand Tours.
38 – Age of Matteo Tossato (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), the oldest rider in the race.
21 – Age of Tom Dumloulin (Argos-Shinano), the youngest rider in the race.
48 – Number of Spanish riders who started the race, the most of any nation.