The Vuelta a Espana (or Tour of Spain) may be slightly lopsided this year. This year’s Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, who is also the holder of the current UCI #1 world ranking, will not be participating in this year’s Vuelta. Contador’s contract with current team Astana ends right in the middle of the 3 week race, and Contador has already announced his move from Astana to Saxo Bank-Sungard for the next season.
Also absent from this year’s Veulta is Team Radio Shack. Bruyneel’s team was denied a wildcard spot in the race – apparently for not being a “good enough team” to compete.
However, that does not mean that a Saxo win is a sure thing, either. VeloNews is reporting that Carlos Sastre will still ride the Veulta for Cervelo this year – despite him also switching teams for next season.
The Veulta a Espana – together with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia – make up the “3 grand tours” or major stage races of every cycling season. Alberto Contador has stated numerous times that it is his goal to win all three in a single year.