Vuelta a Espana set for classic battle
Past winners Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali will be favourites when the 2013 Vuelta a Espana starts
Past winners Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali will be favourites when the 2013 Vuelta a Espana starts.
They will have to compete with Rigoberto Uran, Joaquim Rodriguez, Samuel Sanchez and Ivan Basso among others.
Valverde will start this 2013 Vuelta a Espana with a feeling of revenge.
Indeed, he was sitting in second in the Tour de France until he lost ten minutes on stage 13 because of crosswind issues.
The Spaniard clearly was one of the most impressive riders of the Tour and if he had not been so unlucky he would have been likely to take a podium place in Paris.
Valverde will try to keep his form to do well in this Vuelta and clinch a second victory on his homeland.
His main opponent will be this year's Giro d'Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali. The Italian is one of the most consistent riders and he appeared almost invincible on the Giro winning two stages.
Moreover, Nibali has had time to recover since the end of May after missing the Tour and will be mounting a strong challenge to win a second time La Vuelta.
Both favourites will have to keep an eye on many riders including Team Sky's Rigoberto Uran, who finished second behind iIbali in the Giro d'Italia.
He is part of one of the strongest teams in the peloton and will count on his fellow countryman Sergio Henao to help him in the mountains.
Spanish trio Joaquim Rodriguez, Samuel Sanchez and Igor Anton will be looking for their first victory on their Vuelta.
Indeed, all of them have been very close to win it in the past. Sanchez has finished in the top three twice whilst Rodriguez has finished in the top three in his last three appearances in grand tours.
We also have to remember that Anton was flying in the 2010 Vuelta until he fell with most of his team mates and had to abandon. Needless to say that this is one of their last chances to win as they are not getting any younger.
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