Vuelta a España Statistics: Speeds, Lengths, and More (2022)

Vuelta a España Statistics: Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Tea - Remco Evenepoel Winner of the General Classification

Vuelta an España is the youngest cycling Grand Tour. But it doesn’t mean we can’t find some interesting data about its history.

I put together all Vuelta’s editions and visualized them in charts to see how this race developed.

The result is unique Vuelta a España statistics and facts you have probably never heard about. They can give us valuable insights and satisfy our curiosity.

Let’s dive into the “best of” stats about the Spanish Grand Tour.

Abbreviations used: GC – General Classification, GT – Grand Tour, BMI – Body Mass Index

I used publicly available data from wikipedia.org, procyclingstats.com, and the official Vuelta a España lavuelta.es as data sources. Some data is not available (especially the rider’s weights/heights).

Please, also keep in mind the following:

  • The Vuelta a España did not take place in the following years 1937-1940, 1943-1944, 1949, 1951-1954
  • The actual rider’s racing weight could vary.

Vuelta a España 2022 Summary

The overall winner of the 2022 Vuelta a España is Remco Evenepoel (BE). He finished 2:02 ahead of Enric Mas. Evenepoel covered the 3283.1 km route averaging 40.78 km/h.

The 2022 Vuelta a España points classification winner is Mads Pedersen (DE). He accumulated 409 points and won 3 stages (stage 13, stage 16, and stage 19).

The 2022 Vuelta a España mountain classification winner is Richard Carapaz (EC). He accumulated 73 points and won 3 stages (stage 12, stage 14, and stage 20).

The best young rider (under 25 years) for the 2022 Vuelta a España is Remco Evenepoel (BE).

Vuelta a España Total Distance

Vuelta a España is the youngest Grand Tour. The first edition took place in 1935. The 2nd and the 3rd edition were relatively long (4,407 and 4,406 km). These were the only 2 editions exceeding the 4,000 km mark.

The average Vuelta a España length of all editions is 3,341 km. The average length was 3,060 km between 1960 and 1980, 3,543 km between 1980 and 2000, and 3,195 km between 2000 and 2020. The total length of 2022 Vuelta a España is 3,281 km.

Vuelta a España - Overall Distance
Vuelta a España – Overall Distance

Vuelta a España Average Speed

The average Vuelta a España speed of all editions is 36.90 km/h. The average speed was 36.81 km/h between 1959 and 1979, and 39.88 km/h between 1999 and 2019. The average speed of 2022 Vuelta a España was 40.78 km/h.

The Overall Distance vs. Average Speed of all Vuelta a España editions.
Vuelta a España – Overall Distance and Average Speed

It is no surprise that the overall average speed increased. This is thanks to technological progress, better training methods, better diet, etc.

Number and Length of Vuelta a España Stages

The number of Vuelta a España stages varied in the first years (not as much as with other Grand Tours). For the last few years, it has remained the same (21), except for 2020, when the Vuelta was shortened to 18 stages.

The average Vuelta a España stage length of all editions is 173 km (time trials included). It went down from 176 km between 1949-1979 to 160 km between 1989-2019. The average stage length of the 2022 Vuelta a España is 156 km. This is the shortest stage average among all Grand Tours.

Vuelta a España - Average Stage Distance vs. Number of Stages.
Average Stage Distance vs. Number of Stages


Historical Extremes of Vuelta a España

Can you guess the longest and shortest Vuelta a España edition?

The longest Vuelta a España took place in 1936. Riders had to cover 4,407 km.

The shortest Vuelta a España was the 1963 Vuelta; it was 2,442 km long.

The longest Vuelta a España stage ever was the 6th stage of the 1935 edition. It was 310 km long.

The shortest Vuelta a España stage ever was the individual time trial of the 1971 Vuelta, stage 11b. It was only 2.65 km long.

The fastest Vuelta a España ever took place in 2003. The average speed of the winner was 42.53 km/h.

The slowest Vuelta a España ever took place in 1948. The average speed of the winner was 25.72 km/h.


Interested in more statistics? I summarized Tour and Giro as well!


Vuelta a España Rider’s Height, Weight, and BMI (Over Time)

In this section, you learn how Vuelta a España rider’s height, weight, and BMI develop over time and how these data differ between riders for the general classification, climbers, and sprinters (all-rounders).

NOTE: The heights and weight data are unfortunately not available for all riders.

General Classification

The average height of a Vuelta a España winner is 1.76 m.

The tallest Vuelta a España winner ever was Chris Froome (Vuelta 2011, 2017). He is 1.86 m tall.

The shortest Vuelta a España winner ever was Julián Berrendero (Vuelta 1941, 1942). He was 1.62 m tall.

The height of general classification winners of Vuelta.
Vuelta – General Classification Winner Height

The average weight of a Vuelta a España winner is 66.0 kg.

The heaviest Vuelta a España winner was Gustaaf Deloor. He won the 1935 and 1936 Vuelta, weighing 79 kg.

The lightest Vuelta a España winner was Simon Yates. He won the 2018 Vuelta, weighing just 58 kg.

The weight of general classification winners of Vuelta.
Vuelta – General Classification Winner Weight

I find the BMI chart the most interesting. Let’s quickly repeat what BMI means.

BMI uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy.(Source)

Here is a quick guide on how to interpret these values:

  • Below 18.5 – underweight,
  • 18.5-24.9 – normal,
  • 25.0-29.9 – overweight,
  • 30.0 and above – obese.

With this know-how, we get a better understanding of the following values.

Vuelta a España winners have an average BMI of 21.21.

The Vuelta a España winner with the highest BMI was Gustaaf Deloor. He won the 1935 and 1936 Vuelta with a BMI of 24.66 (1.79 m, 79 kg).

The Vuelta a España winner with the lowest BMI was Fabio Aru. He won the 2015 Vuelta with a BMI of 18.81 (1.83 m, 63 kg).

The BMI of general classification winners of Vuelta.
Vuelta – General Classification Winner BMI

Do you want to know how do you compare with pro riders? Feel free to calculate your BMI using the calculator below.

BMI CALCULATOR

System:

Weight: kg

Height: cm




Mountain Classification

The average height of a Vuelta a España mountains classification winner is 1.75 m.

The tallest Vuelta a España mountains classification winner ever is Luis León Sánchez (Vuelta 2014). He is 1.86 m tall.

The shortest Vuelta a España mountains classification winner ever was Mariano Diáz (Vuelta 1967). He was 1.59 m tall.

The height of mountain classification winners of Vuelta.
Vuelta – Mountain Classification Winner Height

The average weight of a Vuelta a España mountains classification winner is 66 kg.

The heaviest Vuelta a España mountains classification winner was Luis León Sánchez. He won the 2014 Vuelta mountain classification, weighing 73 kg.

The lightest Vuelta a España mountains classification winner was Guillaume Martin. He won the 2020 Vuelta mountain classification, weighing just 55 kg.

The weight of mountain classification winners of Vuelta.
Vuelta – Mountain Classification Winner Weight

Vuelta a España mountains classification winners have an average BMI of 21.39.

The Vuelta a España mountains classification winner with the highest BMI was Mariano Díaz. He won the 1967 Vuelta mountains classification with a BMI of 24.92 (1.59 m, 63 kg).

The Vuelta a España mountains classification winner with the lowest BMI is Guillaume Martin. He won the 2020 Vuelta mountains classification with a BMI of 18.38 (1.73 m, 55 kg). This means he was underweight.

The BMI of mountain classification winners of Vuelta.
Vuelta – Mountain Classification Winner BMI

Points Classification

The average height of a Vuelta a España points classification winner is 1.79 m.

The tallest Vuelta a España points classification winner ever was FabrizioGuidi (Vuelta 1998). He was 1.87 m tall.

The shortest Vuelta a España points classification winner ever was Roberto Heras (Vuelta 2000). He was 1.72 m tall.

The height of points classification winners of Vuelta.
Vuelta – Points Classification Winner Height

The average weight of a Vuelta a España points classification winner is 70 kg.

The heaviest Vuelta a España points classification winner was Rik Van Steenbergen. He won the 1956 points classification, weighing 83 kg.

The lightest Vuelta a España points classification winner was Roberto Heras. He won the 2000 points classification, weighing just 59 kg.

The weight of points classification winners of Vuelta.
Vuelta – Points Classification Winner Weight

A Vuelta a España points classification winner has an average BMI of 21.91.

A Vuelta a España points classification winner with the highest BMI was Rik Van Steenbergen (1.86 m, 83 kg). He won the 1956 Vuelta points classification with a BMI of 23.99.

A Vuelta a España points classification winner with the lowest BMI was Chris Froome (1.86 m, 66 kg). He won the 2017 Vuelta points classification with a BMI of 19.08.

The BMI of points classification winners of Vuelta.
Vuelta – Points Classification Winner BMI

TIP: Don’t you have a bike yet? Feel free to browse my selection of the best bikes on the market.


Overall Victories, Stage Wins, Days in Red…

The rider with the most Vuelta a España GC wins (4) is Roberto Heras, followed by Alberto Contador, Tony Rominger, and Primož Roglič (3).

Riders with the Most Overall Vuelta a España Victories
Riders with the Most Overall Vuelta a España Victories

The title for the most days (48) spent in the red jersey (Maillot Rojo) belongs to Alex Zülle.

Riders with the Most Days in the Red Jersey
Riders with the Most Days in the Red Jersey

The following table shows the riders with the most Vuelta a España stage wins.

#RiderWins
1Delio Rodríguez39
2Alessandro Petacchi20
3Laurent Jalabert
Rik Van Looy
18
4Sean Kelly16
5Gerben Karstens14
The most Vuelta a España stage wins

Riders with the Most Mountain & Points Classification Victories

According to the number of Mountain Classification victories, the best climber was José Luis Laguía. He won this classification five times.

#RiderVictoriesYears
1José Luis Laguía
David Moncoutié
51981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986
2José María Jiménez42008, 2009, 2010, 2011
1997, 1998, 1999, 2001
3Andrés Oliva
Antonio Karmany
Emilio Rodriguez
Julio Jiménez
31975, 1978, 1976
1960, 1961, 1962
1946, 1947, 1950
1963, 1964, 1965
Riders with the most Vuelta a España mountain classification victories and the years they won

According to the number of Points Classification victories, the best sprinters or all-rounders were Sean Kelly, Laurent Jalabert, and Alejandro Valverde. They won this classification four times.

#RiderVictoriesYears
1Sean Kelly
Laurent Jalabert
Alejandro Valverde
41980, 1985, 1986, 1988
1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
2012, 2013, 2015, 2018
2Erik Zabel32002, 2003, 2004
3Rik Van Looy
Jan Janssen
Uwe Raab
Primož Roglič
21959, 1965
1967, 1968
1990, 1991
2019, 2020
Riders with the most Vuelta a España points classification victories and the years they won

If you are into cycling and numbers, make sure you also read these Incredible Bicycle Statistics.


Summary

I enjoyed putting this article together. How do you like it? Let me know in the comments section below, or feel free to share it on your social media.

Don’t forget to check my Cycling Grand Tours Statistics, where I compare all Grand Tours, or continue reading:


Vuelta a España Statistics FAQ


Sources

wikipedia.org
procyclingstats.com
lavuelta.es

The preview picture ©Luis Angel Gomez (cropped)

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