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Who Will Win the 2021 La Vuelta a España?

By Monica Buck

The defending champion Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) knows how to use a disappointing Tour to fuel his Vuelta efforts. Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and Aleksander Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) have been in waiting since the Giro. Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) has been on the Grand Tour sidelines altogether this year. And then there are Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and Enric Mas (Movistar). This is going to be a good one.

Anyway, let’s not keep you waiting. Our money is on Roglič. To everyone’s disappointment, he crashed out of the Tour early. However, he must want to redeem himself even more now. He won the gold in the ITT at the Olympics so there’s no question about his form. Given the fact that the route starts with an ITT, he could even wear red throughout the whole race. That would make his opponents more and more frustrated with each passing stage.

Ineos Grenadiers have four possible team leaders on the squad. Egan Bernal will be the official one. However, we cannot wait to see what sort of tactics Dave Brailsford comes up with. Ideal training ground for the next year’s Tour, don’t you think? What would you have Carapaz, Yates, and Sivakov do? And do you think they’ll have to step in for Bernal at some point?

Aleksandr Vlasov will move to Bora-Hansgrohe after the season as was indicated for a long time. However, he will want to sign off his Astana stint with at least a podium finish. Or does he have even more in him? He is the man to watch despite the absence of form lately.

Aleksandr Vlasov
Vlasov will move to Bora-Hansgrohe after the season. © Profimedia

We shouldn’t omit Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo). He will certainly like the nine summit finishes and he was a contender for the overall win at this year’s Giro right up to the last week. With Urán to back him up, he could prove troublesome for the obvious favourites.

Enric Mas is still the Spaniard to watch despite the fact that his best result came in 2018 when he placed second at La Vuelta to Simon Yates. If the race opens up, he could definitely become a contender. And don’t forget Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious). The 31-year-old usually gets in trouble in the first week of the Grand Tour and then has to claw his way back in but what if that didn’t happen now? Could he make the most of it in the third and most demanding week in the Vuelta history?

We can’t wait to find out.