The three Grand Tours of Cycling – the Giro d’Italia (Tour de France), and Vuelta a Espana (Vuelta a Espana) – are the ultimate tests of a road rider’s abilities. The Union Cycliste Internationale manages them. They follow a similar route with 21 stages and 2 rest days.
They’re big, grueling races with a lot of climbing and lots of excitement. The Tour de France is a special treat with its mountain stages, bruising battles among the best riders around the world.
- Giro d’Italia
The Giro d’Italia is the first Grand Tour of the season. It runs from the 6th to 29th of May and sees 21 stages take place.
The 2023 Giro d’Italia will feature a series of mountain stages that should prove difficult for the peloton to overcome. Stage 13 will take riders to Crans Montana, a difficult summit test in the Swiss alps. The final week will feature a number of mountainous stages including Tre Cime di Lavaredo and Monte Bondone.
Riders can win additional prize money throughout the three weeks of racing, in addition to the general class, which sees the rider who has the lowest average time take the lead. These include the mountain classification, points classification, young rider, team classifications, and the mountain classification.
There are also daily prizes for jersey wearers and points scorers. The maglia rosa (the pink jersey) winner receives EUR2,000, while the maglia azzurra (king of the mountains) winner gets half that amount.
Although the Giro d’Italia is becoming more popular in recent years, it remains a challenging race. The routes are often long and arduous, and the roads used by the riders are usually closed down well ahead of the race.
To ensure you have the best experience possible, we recommend that you arrive early to the races. This will allow you to get a great view of the route and avoid any road closures.
You don’t have to be there to see the race live, but there are many ways you can still watch it at home. The race is live broadcast on a variety channels around the world as well as online.
The Giro d’Italia also has its own website, which is a great resource for fans. This website provides information about each stage as well as details about the rewards and competitions that are available.
It’s not hard to believe that the Giro d’Italia has been called one of the most exciting events on cycling. The route is challenging, the weather is usually sunny and the prize money makes for a fun experience that any fan can enjoy.
- Tour de France
The Tour de France stage race is a stage race in which riders compete in 21 stages over the course 23 days. It is one the most prestigious cycling races around the world. Because it is considered the pinnacle in a rider’s career, many riders aspire to take part in the Tour.
The competition is based on a points system and the winner of each day wins a green jersey. Each team has an overall contender. The rest of the team works hard for the best chance to win. This is accomplished by helping them ride the fastest slipstream possible, and avoiding crashes.
It is important that teams don’t let their top contender ride in the slipstream. This uses more energy than riding in a peloton. If an overall contender is unable or unwilling to attack the climbs or in time trial because of mechanical problems, his teammates will help him to the front.
There are many stages, ranging in difficulty from short ones to long mountains. The race begins flat and then moves into the French Alps or Pyrenees, where mountain stages are more common than ever before.
These mountain stages are known for being extremely difficult and riders often aim to be in the front group on these stages. These are the most dangerous stages, and many riders are seriously injured or killed on these difficult stages.
There are many other awards associated each stage of the Tour, in addition to the stage winners. The top U-25 rider of each stage gets EUR500. The leader each day gets EUR300, and in Paris a super combatif award is given out to the rider who is judged to have been the most aggressive throughout the race.
There are many other awards for the best sprinters and mountain climbers. The highest climbers earn a special Souvenir Henri Desgrange in memory of the founder of the Tour.
- Vuelta a Espaa
The Vuelta a Espana, the final Grand Tour for the season, is the Vuelta a Espana. It is a three week stage race that begins in Utrecht, Netherlands and ends in Madrid, Spain.
It was held for the first time in 1935. The race continues to be a popular one, drawing riders from all over the globe. The Vuelta’s main feature is the route. It changes each year, taking in different parts of Spain and the Netherlands.
The Vuelta a Espana is a thrilling race for cyclists, especially since it is the last Grand Tour in the season. It is also a time when many top riders will be competing to win a race, or to improve their form.
The first week of the Vuelta a Spain starts with two stages in Basque country that are renowned for their short, punchy climbs. These will be perfect for breakaway specialists to try and make a break for the front of the race.
Following this, riders travel to southern Spain for a series if flat stages. This will give sprinters many chances to try and win a stage. A criterium in Elpozo Alimentacion is also scheduled as part of the race.
In addition to the flat stages, the race will feature two climbs which are both considered to be difficult – one of which is the Angliru, a brutal Cat 3 climb that is a good test for GC contenders and is expected to cause a few issues in the general classification.
Another climb is the Pico Jano, a short but steep climb that will be a target for the breakaway specialists as well. Finally, the race will finish with a series in Asturias climbs that will give general classification contenders another chance of getting into the mix.
The Vuelta this year is expected to be one the most difficult in recent years. The first week of the race is easy for general classification riders. But the second week will be the most challenging as the race will be racing up into the Sierra Nevada’s mountainous region. As they tackle the final week in the Vuelta, the challenge for climbers will be to maintain their concentration.
- Vuelta al Pais Vasco
While the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France are great to watch, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco is arguably the best of the bunch. It’s more than a race with a long list, difficult stages. It’s also a cultural institution for the country involved in an way other races aren’t.
The first Vuelta was held in 1935, and it’s often referred to as “the original tour.” This event was interrupted during the Franco era, but its modern edition has been around since 1969. It’s still a major event for Spain, and the winner of the Vuelta earns the famed Basque beret called a txapia.
Like the Tour and Giro the Vuelta has many big climbs. The Vuelta also climbed the Angliru and Lagos de Covadonga.
Despite the long climbs, and sometimes chaotic roads, it is an easy race to follow. The first stages have a reduced bunch sprint, with race favorites pushing hard. Stages three through four end with first-category climbs, which can offer breakaways the chance to gain time over the GC leaders. The final day is often a trial.
In recent years, the Vuelta al Pares Vasco has provided the thrill of a down-to-the-wire, epic Grand Tour. Joaquim Rodriguez and Vincenzo Nibali battled for the race leader in 2010. In 2013, Chris Horner won.
The Vuelta is a unique opportunity for top riders to test their skills in a different setting than the Tour and Giro. It’s a chance for newbies to the sport to show their skills and for veterans to compete for a stage win.
The Vuelta al Pays Vasco is a memorable event for many cyclists. It is often a key event on their calendar as they prepare to race in the bigger races. The Vuelta al Pays Vasco is a good indicator of how a rider will perform at the Tour de France later in their season.