2012 Vuelta a España

2012 Vuelta a España
2012 UCI World Tour, race 22 of 28
Race details
Dates 18 August – 9 September
Stages 21
Distance 3,360.2 km (2,088 mi)
Winning time 84h 59' 49"
Winner  Alberto Contador (ESP) (Saxo Bank–Tinkoff Bank)
Second  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (Movistar Team)
Third  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) (Team Katusha)

Points  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (Movistar Team)
Mountains  Simon Clarke (AUS) (Orica–GreenEDGE)
Combination  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (Movistar Team)
Team Movistar Team

The 2012 Vuelta a España started on 18 August 2012 and was the 67th edition of the race. The race began in Pamplona with a team time trial and ended on 9 September, as traditional, in Madrid. The 2012 edition saw the return of the Bola del Mundo mountain top finish. It was the venue of an exciting battle between winner Vincenzo Nibali and runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera in the 2010 edition.[1][2] It was the first time since 1994 that the race visited the region of Navarre. The previous time that Pamplona was visited by a Grand Tour in 1996, when the city hosted the finish of a memorable stage of the 1996 Tour de France. On that occasion, the race paid homage to Miguel Indurain by passing through his home village of Villava en route.

The race was won for the second time by Alberto Contador of Saxo Bank–Tinkoff Bank, taking his first overall victory since returning from a doping suspension.[3] Contador, who won the seventeenth stage of the race after a solo attack, won the general classification by 1' 16" over runner-up Alejandro Valverde of the Movistar Team team. Two-time stage winner Valverde also won two sub-classifications on the final day; by taking a sixth-place finish on the stage into Madrid, he overhauled the points tally of Joaquim Rodríguez (Team Katusha) in that classification, and their resultant switch of positions, allowed Valverde to take the combination classification – where the lowest cumulative score across the general, points and mountains classifications wins – as well.[4]

Completing an all-Spanish podium,[5] Rodríguez finished the race third overall, 21 seconds behind Valverde and 1' 37" behind Contador, having led the race for 13 days between the fourth and sixteenth stages. Rodríguez also achieved three stage victories, a tally second only to Argos–Shimano sprinter John Degenkolb who won five stages, the most by a German at the Vuelta.[6] Orica–GreenEDGE's Simon Clarke became the second Australian to win the mountains classification in a Grand Tour, while the Movistar Team comfortably won the teams classification.[7]


The 18 UCI ProTour teams were automatically entitled to start the race and were joined by four teams that received a wildcard in April 2012.[8]

The 18 ProTour teams:

Teams receiving a wildcard:

For more details, see List of teams and cyclists in the 2012 Vuelta a España.

Pre-race favourites

The winner of the 2008 edition of the race, Alberto Contador, made his first Grand Tour appearance since his ban after testing positive for a banned substance at the 2010 Tour de France, and was considered by many the top favourite for overall victory. Another favourite was Chris Froome, who finished second in the 2011 Vuelta and 2012 Tour de France, and he started the 2012 Vuelta as team leader of Team Sky, having previously worked for Bradley Wiggins. The winner of the 2011 edition, Juan José Cobo, was looking to replicate his previous year's form after a disappointing 2012 season, and he was co-leader of the Movistar Team alongside Alejandro Valverde.

Other contenders for the podium included Joaquim Rodríguez of Team Katusha, who finished second in the 2012 Giro d'Italia, Igor Antón of Euskaltel–Euskadi, Jurgen Van den Broeck of Lotto–Belisol, Damiano Cunego of Lampre–ISD and Robert Gesink of Rabobank.

Riders who could have made the top ten included Froome's Colombian team-mates at Team Sky, Rigoberto Urán and Sergio Henao, Rabobank's Bauke Mollema, RadioShack–Nissan's Maxime Monfort, Vacansoleil–DCM's Thomas De Gendt and Ag2r–La Mondiale's Nicolas Roche.


Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
1 18 August Pamplona 16.5 km (10.3 mi) Team Time Trial Movistar Team
2 19 August PamplonaViana 181.4 km (112.7 mi) Flat Stage  John Degenkolb (GER)
3 20 August OionArrate (Eibar) 155.3 km (96.5 mi) Medium Mountain Stage  Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
4 21 August BarakaldoValdezcaray 160.6 km (99.8 mi) Medium Mountain Stage  Simon Clarke (AUS)
5 22 August LogroñoLogroño 168 km (104 mi) Flat Stage  John Degenkolb (GER)
6 23 August TarazonaEl Fuerte del Rapitán (Jaca) 175.4 km (109.0 mi) Medium Mountain Stage  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP)
7 24 August HuescaMotorland Aragon (Alcañiz) 164.2 km (102.0 mi) Flat Stage  John Degenkolb (GER)
8 25 August LleidaColl de la Gallina 174.7 km (108.6 mi) Mountain Stage  Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
9 26 August AndorraBarcelona 196.3 km (122.0 mi) Flat Stage  Philippe Gilbert (BEL)
27 August Rest day
10 28 August PonteareasSanxenxo 190 km (120 mi) Flat Stage  John Degenkolb (GER)
11 29 August CambadosPontevedra 39.4 km (24.5 mi) Individual Time Trial  Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE)
12 30 August VilagarcíaMirador de Ezaro (Dumbria) 190.5 km (118.4 mi) Medium Mountain Stage  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP)
13 31 August Santiago de CompostelaFerrol 172.8 km (107.4 mi) Flat Stage  Steve Cummings (GBR)
14 1 September Palas de ReiLos Ancares 149.2 km (92.7 mi) Mountain Stage  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP)
15 2 September La RoblaLagos de Covadonga 186.5 km (115.9 mi) Mountain Stage  Antonio Piedra (ESP)
16 3 September GijónCuitu Negro 183.5 km (114.0 mi) Mountain Stage  Dario Cataldo (ITA)
4 September Rest day
17 5 September SantanderFuente Dé 187.3 km (116.4 mi) Medium Mountain Stage  Alberto Contador (ESP)
18 6 September Aguilar de CampooValladolid 204.5 km (127.1 mi) Flat Stage  Daniele Bennati (ITA)
19 7 September PeñafielLa Lastrilla 178.4 km (110.9 mi) Flat Stage  Philippe Gilbert (BEL)
20 8 September Palazuelos de EresmaBola del Mundo 170.7 km (106.1 mi) Mountain Stage  Denis Menchov (RUS)
21 9 September CercedillaMadrid 115 km (71 mi) Flat Stage  John Degenkolb (GER)

Race overview

For details see 2012 Vuelta a España, Stage 1 to Stage 11 and 2012 Vuelta a España, Stage 12 to Stage 21

Classification leadership table

There were four main classifications contested in the 2012 Vuelta a España, with the most important being the general classification. The general classification was calculated by adding each cyclist's finishing times on each stage. The cyclist with the least accumulated time was the race leader, identified by the red jersey; the winner of this classification was considered the winner of the Vuelta. In 2012, there were time bonuses given on mass-start stages; twelve seconds were awarded to the stage winner, with eight for second and four for third.[9]

Additionally, there was a points classification, which awards a green jersey. In the points classification, cyclists get points for finishing among the best in a stage finish, or in intermediate sprints. The cyclist with the most points led the classification, and is identified with a green jersey. There was also a mountains classification. The organisation categorised some climbs as either hors catégorie, first, second, third, or fourth-category; points for this classification were won by the first cyclists that reach the top of these climbs, with more points available for the higher-categorised climbs. The cyclist with the most points led the classification, and was identified with a blue polka dot jersey.

The fourth individual classification was the combination classification, marked by the white jersey. This classification is calculated by adding the numeral ranks of each cyclist in the general, points and mountains classifications – a rider must have a score in all classifications possible to qualify for the combination classification – with the lowest cumulative total signifying the winner of this competition.

For the team classification, the times of the best three cyclists per team on each stage were added; the leading team is the team with the lowest total time. For the combativity award, a jury gives points after each stage to the cyclists they considered most combative. The cyclist with the most votes in all stages leads the classification. For the daily combative winner, the rider in question donned a dossard with a red background, on the following stage.

Stage Winner General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification
Combination classification
Team classification Combativity award
1 Movistar Team Jonathan Castroviejo not awarded not awarded not awarded Movistar Team Imanol Erviti
2 John Degenkolb John Degenkolb Javier Chacón Javier Chacón Javier Aramendia
3 Alejandro Valverde Alejandro Valverde Alejandro Valverde Pim Ligthart Alejandro Valverde Philippe Gilbert
4 Simon Clarke Joaquim Rodríguez Simon Clarke Simon Clarke Joaquim Rodríguez Rabobank Luis Ángel Maté
5 John Degenkolb John Degenkolb Javier Chacón
6 Joaquim Rodríguez Team Sky Thomas De Gendt
7 John Degenkolb Javier Aramendia
8 Alejandro Valverde Alejandro Valverde Rabobank Javier Aramendia
9 Philippe Gilbert Joaquim Rodríguez Javier Chacón
10 John Degenkolb John Degenkolb Javier Aramendia
11 Fredrik Kessiakoff Fredrik Kessiakoff
12 Joaquim Rodríguez Joaquim Rodríguez Mikel Astarloza
13 Steve Cummings Juan Antonio Flecha
14 Joaquim Rodríguez Simon Clarke Juan Manuel Gárate
15 Antonio Piedra Movistar Team Antonio Piedra
16 Dario Cataldo Dario Cataldo
17 Alberto Contador Alberto Contador Alberto Contador
18 Daniele Bennati Gatis Smukulis
19 Philippe Gilbert Ji Cheng
20 Denis Menchov Simon Clarke
21 John Degenkolb Alejandro Valverde Alejandro Valverde not awarded
Final Alberto Contador Alejandro Valverde Simon Clarke Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team Alberto Contador


General classification

Rider Team Time
1  Alberto Contador (ESP) Saxo Bank–Tinkoff Bank 84h 59' 49"
2  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team + 1' 16"
3  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Team Katusha + 1' 37"
4  Chris Froome (GBR) Team Sky + 10' 16"
5  Daniel Moreno (ESP) Team Katusha + 11' 29"
6  Robert Gesink (NED) Rabobank + 12' 23"
7  Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin–Sharp + 13' 28"
8  Laurens ten Dam (NED) Rabobank + 13' 41"
9  Igor Antón (ESP) Euskaltel–Euskadi + 14' 01"
10  Beñat Intxausti (ESP) Movistar Team + 16' 13"

Points classification

Rider Team Points
1  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team 199
2  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Team Katusha 193
3  Alberto Contador (ESP) Saxo Bank–Tinkoff Bank 161
4  John Degenkolb (GER) Argos–Shimano 149
5  Daniele Bennati (ITA) RadioShack–Nissan 107
6  Chris Froome (GBR) Team Sky 93
7  Allan Davis (AUS) Orica–GreenEDGE 84
8  Elia Viviani (ITA) Liquigas–Cannondale 79
9  Lloyd Mondory (FRA) Ag2r–La Mondiale 74
10  Daniel Moreno (ESP) Team Katusha 72

King of the Mountains classification

Rider Team Points
1  Simon Clarke (AUS) Orica–GreenEDGE 63
2  David de la Fuente (ESP) Caja Rural 40
3  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Team Katusha 36
4  Thomas De Gendt (BEL) Vacansoleil–DCM 33
5  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team 31
6  Alberto Contador (ESP) Saxo Bank–Tinkoff Bank 28
7  Dario Cataldo (ITA) Omega Pharma–Quick-Step 27
8  Richie Porte (AUS) Team Sky 21
9  Denis Menchov (RUS) Team Katusha 20
10  David Moncoutié (FRA) Cofidis 18

Combination classification

Rider Team Total
1  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team 8
2  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Team Katusha 8
3  Alberto Contador (ESP) Saxo Bank–Tinkoff Bank 10
4  Chris Froome (GBR) Team Sky 30
5  Daniel Moreno (ESP) Team Katusha 48
6  Nicolas Roche (IRL) Ag2r–La Mondiale 65
7  Eros Capecchi (ITA) Liquigas–Cannondale 79
8  Thomas De Gendt (BEL) Vacansoleil–DCM 80
9  Dario Cataldo (ITA) Omega Pharma–Quick-Step 85
10  Sergio Henao (COL) Team Sky 88

Team classification

Pos. Team Time
1 Movistar Team 254h 52' 49"
2 Euskaltel–Euskadi + 9' 40"
3 Ag2r–La Mondiale + 20' 19"
4 Rabobank + 23' 48"
5 Team Sky + 26' 55″
6 Team Katusha + 36' 07"
7 Lampre–ISD + 53' 00″
8 Saxo Bank–Tinkoff Bank + 1h 1' 11"
9 RadioShack–Nissan + 1h 17' 34"
10 Caja Rural + 1h 25' 10"


  1. "2012 Vuelta a España to start in Pamplona". Cyclingnews.com. 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
  2. "2012 Vuelta a España 2012 with team time trial and Bola del Mundo". Cyclingnews.com. 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
  3. "Alberto Contador marks his return from drugs ban with Tour of Spain victory". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  4. Atkins, Ben (9 September 2012). "John Degenkolb gets number five on final stage as Contador wins". VeloNation. VeloNation LLC. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  5. "Alberto Contador wins second Vuelta a Espana title". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  6. Fotheringham, Alasdair (9 September 2012). "High five for Degenkolb in Madrid". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  7. Benson, Daniel (9 September 2012). "Degenkolb takes fifth Vuelta stage win in Madrid". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  8. "Vuelta a España announces its 22 teams for 2012". Cyclingnews.com. Future Publishing Limited. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  9. Hood, Andrew (16 August 2012). "2012 Vuelta a España serves up a mountainous, unpredictable course". VeloNews. Competitor Group, Inc. Retrieved 30 December 2013.

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