I’m back at my first grand tour since the 2019 Vuelta, and I forgot how exhausting it is! It’s also a lot of fun, though.
The Vuelta commenced with a 7.1k time trial departing from the front door of the 800-year-old Burgos Cathedral.
Koen Bouwman and Maxim van Gils on a turn about 500 meters from the start:
Alex Aranburu, who finished second on the stage, in the finishing straight:
Tom Scully, fourth on the stage:
Stage winner Primoz Roglic:
Rein Taaramae won stage three on the first uphill finish, at Picón Blanco.
Enric Mas dug deep to gain three seconds on Roglic and other GC contenders.
On stage six, Magnus Cort managed to just hold off Primoz Roglic for the stage victory at Alto de la Montaña de Cullera.
Aleksandr Vlasov, fourth on the stage:
In the finish area, I was photographing Hugh Carthy when a descending rider passed just in front of me, leading to this fun shot:
For stage seven to Balcón de Alicante, a lovely, wooded climb, I hung out around 700 meters before the finish line.
Stage winner Michael Storer:
Carlos Verona, second on the stage:
The Roglic group came by around three minutes later.
Sunlight glinted off the gold helmet of Olympic champion Richard Carapaz as he and Landa, Ciccone, and Aru came by.
Luis Angel Mate:
Stage nine finished in Spaghetti Western territory, at Alto de Velefique. I stopped at a spot with good viewpoints about 6k from the finish. Here’s stage winner Damiano Carusu in four different places on the road, starting just after the 8k banner:
The GC favorites group was all together between the 7k and 6k banners, but when they passed me with a little under 6k to go, Lopez, Roglic, and Mas had broken away from the others.
A couple of shots of later arrivals from different vantage points:
Fabio Jakobsen, in the green points jersey, had five teammates around him, finishing safely within the time limit.