LEON, Spain (VN) – The peloton cooled its jets Monday on the first of two rest days in a Vuelta a España that’s been explosive, exciting and unpredictable.
Through nine stages, no singular favorite has imposed his domination on the race, though four men have emerged to take control of the GC fight.
Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) carries a slender but significant lead to Chris Froome (Sky), Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) after nine days of racing. Those four have demonstrated that they are the riders who will be fighting for final victory when the 67th Vuelta ends September 9 in Madrid. But before they arrive the Spanish capital, the hardest and most decisive stages are still yet to come.
Wednesday’s 40km individual time trial will go a long way toward tipping the eventual winner, though a trio of brutal climbing stages in the mountains of northern Spain set for this weekend will likely see one rider take control of the leader’s jersey.
Here is what we knew as the Vuelta nears its midway point.