Spanish Stew: How the Vuelta a Espana GC contenders stack up

  • By Andrew Hood
  • Published Aug. 22, 2013
  • Updated Oct. 30, 2014 at 5:29 PM EDT
Chris Horner is back from a persistent knee injury and targeting the top of the Vuelta classification. Photo: Graham Watson |

Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida)

Age: 33
Vuelta history: Only three starts, his best was 11th in 2005
Strengths: A steady climber who never seems to have a bad day; Scarponi is almost always there in the decisive moments. After a sub-par Giro, he’s riding into the Vuelta with no pressure, but a lot of ambition.
Why he can win: Almost no one will be looking at Scarponi, so he could slip away, gain some time, and then hold on for dear life.
Where he can lose: Italians typically struggle on Spanish roads, especially with the Giro being their season’s top goal months before. Scarponi could lose huge time early on, converting his Vuelta into a stage-hunting expedition.

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FILED UNDER: Analysis / Vuelta a España TAGS:

Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood cut his journalistic teeth at Colorado dailies before the web boom opened the door to European cycling in the mid-1990s. Hood has covered every Tour de France since 1996 and has been VeloNews' European correspondent since 2002.

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