2011 Vuelta a España

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2011 Vuelta a España
2011 UCI World Tour, race 21 of 27
Vuelta a España 2011.png
Race details
Dates 20 August – 11 September
Stages 21
Distance Lua error in Module:Convert at line 1851: attempt to index local 'en_value' (a nil value).
Winning time 84h 59' 31"
Winner  Juan José Cobo (ESP) (Geox–TMC)
Second  Chris Froome (GBR) (Team Sky)
Third  Bradley Wiggins (GBR) (Team Sky)

Points  Bauke Mollema (NED) (Rabobank)
Mountains  David Moncoutié (FRA) (Cofidis)
Combination  Juan José Cobo (ESP) (Geox–TMC)
Team Geox–TMC

The 2011 Vuelta a España was held from 20 August to 11 September. The race began in Benidorm with a team time trial and ended, as is traditional, in Madrid. The 2011 Vuelta was the 66th edition of the race and was the first Vuelta in 33 years that visited the Basque Country. The 33-year absence of the region was due to fear of political protests.[1]

Critics claim that it was a race well suited for the climbers due to the minimum time trial kilometers and lots of climbing kilometers. 9 of the 21 stages are ranked as Mountain Stages. 6 of them have mountain top finish (including the very steep uphill finish on the Alto de L'Angliru). Two other stages had steep uphill finishes, both of which were won by Katusha leader Joaquim Rodríguez.[2]

This year's Vuelta saw the introduction of a combativity award in much the same way as the Tour de France. The most combative rider each stage is awarded a red backnumber which he wears for the next stage.

The race was won by a surprisingly strong Juan José Cobo with a small margin over Briton Chris Froome.[3] Both riders were not marked as favourites before the race and went to the Vuelta as domestiques for their team leaders Denis Menchov and Bradley Wiggins, who finished 5th and 3rd respectively. Cobo also went home with the Combination Classification. The King of the Mountain competition was won for the fourth consecutive time by Frenchman David Moncoutié.[4] The points classification was won by Dutch rider Bauke Mollema, who also finished fourth overall.


All 18 teams in the UCI's Proteam category are entitled, and obliged, to enter the race. Four UCI Professional Continental teams are also invited.[5]

The full list of participating teams is:

†: Invited Pro-continental teams.

For more details, see List of teams and cyclists in the 2011 Vuelta a España.

Pre-race favourites

2010 winner Vincenzo Nibali of the Liquigas–Cannondale team, was seen as the top-favourite.

2010 winner Vincenzo Nibali came to defend his Vuelta title and was seen as the top-favourite due to the better time-trial skills than climbers as Igor Antón, Joaquim Rodríguez and Michele Scarponi. Anton seemed to be the strongest climber in the 2010 race, but due to a crash he had to withdraw from the race. Ezequiel Mosquera did not start the race, the 2010 runner-up being suspended from racing by his team Vacansoleil-DCM due to an ongoing doping investigation.[6]

Two other Grand Tour winners in the Vuelta peloton were: Carlos Sastre (winner of the 2008 Tour de France) and Denis Menchov (two time winner of the Vuelta and winner of the 2009 Giro d'Italia). Both riders of the Geox-TMC were looking for better results after disappointing Giro campaigns. Sastre finished in thirtieth place, while Menchov finished eighth. Menchov had allergies and physical problems at the Giro d’Italia and was looking for a third Vuelta win. The Russian could count on one of the best team supports in the mountains with climbers as Sastre, Cobo and Duarte.[7]

Other favourites for the podium had a disappointing Tour de France and were looking for revenge in the Vuelta. Janez Brajkovič, Bradley Wiggins and Jurgen van den Broeck crashed out of the Tour in the first week while Andreas Klöden withdrew from the race a week later, also due to injuries of a crash. Wiggins showed extremely good form before the Tour and was seen as a podium candidate for the Tour. His top time-trial skills, together with his improved climbing skills, made him a favourite for the Vuelta victory.[8]

Among the top ten contenders were several promising talents, including Dan Martin (winner of the 2010 Tour de Pologne, runner up of the 2011 Tour de Pologne and third overall at the 2011 Volta a Catalunya), Steven Kruijswijk (ninth in the 2011 Giro, third overall and a mountain stage win at the 2011 Tour de Suisse), Bauke Mollema (twelfth at the 2010 Giro d'Italia and fifth overall at the 2011 Tour de Suisse) and Rein Taaramäe (twelfth at the 2011 Tour de France, third overall at the 2011 Critérium International and fourth overall at the 2011 Paris–Nice. Other contenders for the top ten were Garmin's co-leader Christophe Le Mével and Ag2R's Nicolas Roche. [9][10]

Route and stages

The full route for the 2011 Vuelta was unveiled in Benidorm on January 12, 2011. The climbers immediately liked the route of the race with six mountain stages with uphill finishes and another two flat stages with steep uphill finishes.[11] Among the uphill finishes were the infamous Alto de L'Angliru and the climb to the Sierra Nevada. Two finishes were on climbs that have never been featured in the Vuelta before. These are to Estacion de Montaña Manzaneda in Galicia on stage 11 and La Farrapona in the Asturias region on stage 14. Olympic Road Champion Samuel Sánchez pointed out that the lack of Time Trial kilometers make the race very interesting because there are not enough of them for GC riders with good time trialing ability to take advantage for the variety of mountain stages.

It was the first Vuelta since 33 years that visited the Basque Country. The 33-year absence of the region was due to fear of political protests. Separatists of the Basque Country were unhappy with the return of the Vuelta and calling the come of the Vuelta 'A Waste of Money'.[12] Although the criticism of several Separatists on the route of this year, the organizers of the Vuelta announced on 8 September that the 2012 event will start in the Navarrese city of Pamplona.

Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
1 20 August Benidorm 13.5 km (8.4 mi) Team time trial Team time trial Leopard Trek
2 21 August La Nucía – Playas de Orihuela 175.5 km (109 mi) Plainstage.svg Flat stage  Christopher Sutton (AUS)
3 22 August PetrerTotana 163 km (101 mi) Plainstage.svg Flat stage  Pablo Lastras (ESP)
4 23 August BazaSierra Nevada 170.2 km (105.8 mi) Mountainstage.svg Mountain stage  Daniel Moreno (ESP)
5 24 August Sierra NevadaValdepeñas de Jaén 187 km (116 mi) Mediummountainstage.svg Medium mountain stage  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP)
6 25 August ÚbedaCórdoba 196.8 km (122 mi) Mediummountainstage.svg Medium mountain stage  Peter Sagan (SVK)
7 26 August AlmadénTalavera de la Reina 187.6 km (116.6 mi) Plainstage.svg Flat stage  Marcel Kittel (GER)
8 27 August Talavera de la ReinaSan Lorenzo de El Escorial 177.3 km (110.2 mi) Mediummountainstage.svg Medium mountain stage  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP)
9 28 August VillacastínSierra de Bejar. La Covatilla 183 km (114 mi) Mountainstage.svg Mountain stage  Dan Martin (IRL)
10 29 August Salamanca 47 km (29.2 mi) Individual time trial Individual time trial  Tony Martin (GER)
30 August Rest day
11 31 August VerínEstación de Esquí Manzaneda 167 km (104 mi) Mountainstage.svg Mountain stage  David Moncoutié (FRA)
12 1 September PonteareasPontevedra 167.3 km (104.0 mi) Plainstage.svg Flat stage  Peter Sagan (SVK)
13 2 September SarriaPonferrada 158.2 km (98.3 mi) Mountainstage.svg Mountain stage  Michael Albasini (SUI)
14 3 September AstorgaLa Farrapona. Lagos de Somiedo 172.8 km (107.4 mi) Mountainstage.svg Mountain stage  Rein Taaramäe (EST)
15 4 September AvilésAngliru 142.2 km (88.4 mi) Mountainstage.svg Mountain stage  Juan José Cobo (ESP)
5 September Rest day
16 6 September Villa Romana La Olmeda (Palencia) – Haro 188.1 km (116.9 mi) Plainstage.svg Flat stage  Juan José Haedo (ARG)
17 7 September Faustino V (Oyón)Peña Cabarga 211 km (131 mi) Mountainstage.svg Mountain stage  Chris Froome (GBR)
18 8 September SolaresNoja 174.6 km (108.5 mi) Mediummountainstage.svg Medium mountain stage  Francesco Gavazzi (ITA)
19 9 September NojaBilbao 158.5 km (98.5 mi) Mediummountainstage.svg Medium mountain stage  Igor Antón (ESP)
20 10 September BilbaoVitoria-Gasteiz 185 km (115.0 mi) Mediummountainstage.svg Medium mountain stage  Daniele Bennati (ITA)
21 11 September Circuito del JaramaMadrid 94.2 km (58.5 mi) Plainstage.svg Flat stage  Peter Sagan (SVK)
TOTAL 3319.8 km (2062.8 mi)

Race overview

For details see 2011 Vuelta a España, Stage 1 to Stage 11 and 2011 Vuelta a España, Stage 12 to Stage 21

The Vuelta began with a team time trial in Benidorm. The Leopard Trek squad won this stage. Danish General Classification contender Jakob Fuglsang passed the finish line as first and was the first cyclist to wear the red leaders jersey.[13] Fuglsang lost the leaders jersey after just one day to team-mate Daniele Bennati in a sprinter's stage which was won by Christopher Sutton of Team Sky.[14]

Stage 3 saw the first victory out of a break-away. Out of this break-away it was Pablo Lastras (Movistar Team) who attacked on the last climb and held a small margin until the finish line in Totana. Runner-up of the stage, Sylvain Chavanel (Quick-Step), was the third cyclist who was awarded the red leaders jersey.[15]

No serious attacks were made by the GC contenders on the first mountain stage of the Vuelta. On the climb to the Sierra Nevada it was Daniel Moreno (Team Katusha) who attacked with Chris Anker Sørensen (Saxo Bank–SunGard) and who beat the Danish climber in the sprint. Chavanel was the first rider who was awarded the leaders jersey two days in a row.[16]

Igor Antón (Euskaltel–Euskadi) won in the 2009 Vuelta a España the stage on the steep ascend of Valdepeñas de Jaén. The Basque lost lots of time on stage 4 and showed no good form in the Vuelta.[17] He couldn't repeat his stage victory. Joaquim Rodríguez (Team Katusha), a specialist on very steep hills, won the stage before the surprisingly strong Dutchman Wout Poels (Vacansoleil–DCM) and team-mate Daniel Moreno. Leader Chavanel lost several seconds but managed to keep the lead in the race.[18]

The Liquigas team of Vincenzo Nibali rode a strong descent in the final of stage 6 and managed to form a small break-away with four Liquigas riders and former stage winner Lastras. From the four Liquigas riders Peter Sagan took his first Grand-Tour victory. Nibali failed to gain bonification seconds due to miscommunication within the team. The 2010 winner took sixteen seconds on his direct concurents for the overall victory.[19] The next day Sagan sprinted again for the stage victory but couldn't beat German talent Marcel Kittel (Skil–Shimano) in a sprint which was characterized by a huge crash of American sprinter Tyler Farrar (Garmin–Cervélo) in which he didn't suffer any serious injuries.[20]

Classification leadership table

Stage Winner General classification
Jersey red.svg
Points classification
Jersey green.svg
Mountains classification
Jersey blue dotted.png
Combination Classification
Jersey white.svg
Team classification Combativity award
1 Leopard Trek Jakob Fuglsang no award no award no award Leopard Trek Fabian Cancellara
2 Christopher Sutton Daniele Bennati Christopher Sutton Paul Martens Jesús Rosendo Adam Hansen
3 Pablo Lastras Pablo Lastras Pablo Lastras Pablo Lastras Pablo Lastras Movistar Team Sylvain Chavanel
4 Daniel Moreno Sylvain Chavanel Daniel Moreno Daniel Moreno Team RadioShack Thomas Rohregger
5 Joaquim Rodríguez Daniel Moreno Michael Albasini
6 Peter Sagan Joaquim Rodríguez Martin Kohler
7 Marcel Kittel Peter Sagan Luís Ángel Maté
8 Joaquim Rodríguez Joaquim Rodríguez Joaquim Rodríguez Adrián Palomares
9 Dan Martin Bauke Mollema Dan Martin Bauke Mollema Geox–TMC Sebastian Lang
10 Tony Martin Chris Froome Leopard Trek Tony Martin
11 David Moncoutié Bradley Wiggins Matteo Montaguti Team RadioShack Adrián Palomares
12 Peter Sagan Adam Hansen
13 Michael Albasini David Moncoutié Daniel Moreno Amets Txurruka
14 Rein Taaramäe Bauke Mollema Geox–TMC David de la Fuente
15 Juan José Cobo Juan José Cobo Juan José Cobo Simon Geschke
16 Juan José Haedo Jesús Rosendo
17 Chris Froome Bauke Mollema Johannes Fröhlinger
18 Francesco Gavazzi Joaquim Rodríguez Sérgio Paulinho
19 Igor Antón Igor Antón
20 Daniele Bennati Carlos Barredo
21 Peter Sagan Bauke Mollema no award
Final Juan José Cobo Bauke Mollema David Moncoutié Juan José Cobo Geox–TMC Adrián Palomares


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General classification

Rider Team Time
1  Juan José Cobo (ESP) Jersey red.svg Jersey white.svg Geox–TMC 84h 59' 31"
2  Chris Froome (GBR) Team Sky + 13"
3  Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Team Sky + 1' 39"
4  Bauke Mollema (NED) Jersey green.svg Rabobank + 2' 03"
5  Denis Menchov (RUS) Geox–TMC + 3' 48"
6  Maxime Monfort (BEL) Leopard Trek + 4' 13"
7  Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Liquigas–Cannondale + 4' 31"
8  Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL) Omega Pharma–Lotto + 4' 45"
9  Daniel Moreno (ESP) Team Katusha + 5' 20"
10  Mikel Nieve (ESP) Euskaltel–Euskadi + 5' 33"
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Points classification

Rider Team Points
1  Bauke Mollema (NED) Jersey green.svg Rabobank 122
2  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Team Katusha 115
3  Daniele Bennati (ITA) Leopard Trek 101
4  Peter Sagan (SVK) Liquigas–Cannondale 100
5  Juan José Cobo (ESP) Jersey red.svgJersey white.svg Geox–TMC 92
6  Chris Froome (GBR) Team Sky 88
7  Daniel Moreno (ESP) Team Katusha 83
8  Wout Poels (NED) Vacansoleil–DCM 71
9  Dan Martin (IRL) Garmin–Cervélo 70
10  Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Team Sky 69

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King of the Mountains classification

Rider Team Points
1  David Moncoutié (FRA) Jersey bluedots.svg Cofidis 63
2  Matteo Montaguti (ITA) Ag2r–La Mondiale 56
3  Juan José Cobo (ESP) Jersey red.svgJersey white.svg Geox–TMC 42
4  Dan Martin (IRL) Garmin–Cervélo 33
5  Daniel Moreno (ESP) Team Katusha 32
6  David de la Fuente (ESP) Geox–TMC 24
7  Nico Sijmens (BEL) Cofidis 22
8  Chris Froome (GBR) Team Sky 21
9  Chris Anker Sørensen (DEN) Saxo Bank–SunGard 20
10  Koen de Kort (NED) Skil–Shimano 19
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Combination classification

Rider Team Total
1  Juan José Cobo (ESP) Jersey white.svgJersey red.svg Geox–TMC 9
2  Chris Froome (GBR) Team Sky 16
3  Bauke Mollema (NED) Jersey green.svg Rabobank 17
4  Daniel Moreno (ESP) Team Katusha 21
5  Dan Martin (IRL) Garmin–Cervélo 26
6  Wout Poels (NED) Vacansoleil–DCM 38
7  Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Team Sky 39
8  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Team Katusha 48
9  Chris Anker Sørensen (DEN) Saxo Bank–SunGard 51
10  Denis Menchov (RUS) Geox–TMC 52

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Team classification

Pos. Team Time
1 Geox–TMC 254h 32′ 28"
2 Leopard Trek + 10′ 19"
3 Euskaltel–Euskadi + 16′ 44"
4 Team Katusha + 43' 18"
5 Ag2r–La Mondiale + 43′ 27″
6 Rabobank + 54′ 32″
7 Astana + 58′ 56″
8 Liquigas–Cannondale + 1h 01′ 51"
9 Movistar Team + 1h 05′ 11″
10 Team Sky + 1h 09′ 45″

World rankings points

The Vuelta was one of 27 events throughout the season that contributed points towards the 2011 UCI World Tour. Points were awarded to the top 20 finishers overall, and to the top five finishers in each stage. Only riders on UCI ProTour teams were eligible to receive rankings points, so winner Juan Cobo was not rewarded in this table.[21]


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External links