Rapha presents Life in the Peloton!
The Vuelta a España is one of the 3 grand tours and it can slip under the radar after the hype of the Tour de France, but I can tell you first hand from a rider’s perspective it certainly is no easy feat.
It’s a notoriously tough old lap of Spain, raced in September towards the end of the season and known for its steep climbs and soaring temperatures. But in saying that, there are moments where the stress levels are lower than other grand tours and you can actually enjoy yourself. And that is why I loved it, it was my favourite race, behind Roubaix of course.
Naturally I was keen to hear a little bit of insight into this year’s Vuelta from the pros – to hear about what looks to be one of the toughest Vuelta’s yet, how racing has changed from previous years and also how the battle for the points system is shaping racing this year.
I thought, what better way than to chat to all ends of the peloton. On the third rest day I spoke with Fred Wright, current UK professional with Bahrain-Victorious, riding his 4th Grand Tour at 23 years of age and in fantastic form.
Then I hear from long time pro, Daryl Impey in his 15th year pro, now racing with Israel Premier-Tech with 11 GTs under his belt.
And, of course, I had to speak to fan favourite Luke Durbridge, who is a GT veteran having ridden 13 GT’s in his 11 years pro with Bike Exchange-Jayco, but ironically this is his first Vuelta.
And finally, I wanted to hear from a newbie to grand tours, Luke Plapp. He’s current Australian Road Champion, 21 years of age and in his first year pro with Ineos Grenadiers, how is he finding the step into 21 day stage racing?
I tell you it was a laugh to hear their brutal honesty, especially being 2 weeks in and so close to the finish line.
Jump back into the world tour peloton with me for the last week of grand tour racing this season, I hope you enjoy the insight.
Stay tuned next week as I take Talking Luft on race at the Vuelta.
Photo: Chris Auld
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