La Vuelta a España — The Fight for the Red Jersey - TBT - Insider. The Thomson Bike Tours Blog

The colours of the leader’s jerseys in Grand Tours are simple to recall; pink for Giro, yellow for the Tour and red for the Vuelta. Distinct and historic, each one is integral to how we see the races. But the Vuelta has suffered from identity crisis from the off. The famous red jersey, as fiery as the weather and the spirit in which it’s raced has only been in place since 2010.


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The colour of the jersey has changed nine times since it’s inception in 1934, launching with an orange hue. Perhaps the biggest problem is a lack of constraint – both the Giro and Tour mimic the colour of the newspaper they were designed to promote. The pink of La Gazzeta dello Sport and yellow of L’Auto make for a simple choice.


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After the interruption of the war, the race resumed in 1941 with a white jersey – but just for one year. Orange returned for a while and then red for the first time in 1945. Of course this didn’t remain either, replaced with a white jersey with a red chest stripe! Six years pass and it seems as if La Vuelta had found it’s consistency, but no – change again. This time to yellow – well, it works for that other race!


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Yellow remained the leader’s jersey in La Vuelta for decades, albeit with variations to hue. Notably in 1977 that hue was distinctly orange. A change in philosophy, wishing to separate from the famous Maillot Jaune, the red jersey was worn by Vincenzo Nibali in 2010 and has remained ever since. A good ten year has ensued but how long will it last?

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Ride The Vuelta

With multiple summit finishes and several impossibly tough and beautiful mountains, La Vuelta is a challenge that can’t be ignored.

Our Vuelta a España KOM Challenge provides a fantastic mix of LIVE race-viewing and challenging rides on the legendary routes and climbs of northern Spain. Witness 6 key stages including the summit finishes on the Tourmalet and the Angliru. Revel in 3 remarkable days in La Rioja, Spain’s most famous wine region, where we’ll witness 3 spectacular stages of La Vuelta and maybe indulge in a few glasses of the local drink.

Stage 6 – Summit Finish on the Col du Tourmalet
Stage 7 – On the Puerto de Orduña
Stage 8 – Summit Finish on the Alto de Moncalvillo
Stage 9 – Castrillo del Val (Meet the pros and celebrities at the Stage Start)
Stage 11 – Summit Finish on Alto La Farrapona
Stage 12 – Summit Finish on Alto El Angliru

Enjoy the premiere La Vuelta cycling experience with Thomson Bike Tours.

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About The Author

The figurehead of Thomson Bike Tours, Peter never stops riding. Since setting up the Company back in 2001 Peter’s covered over 200,000 km on the bike and grown the business into what it is today.

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