2015 Vuelta a Espana gallery

Highlights of the Spanish grand tour's 21 stages

The 2015 Vuelta a Espana started on the beachfront in Porto Banus with a team time trial and finished 20 stages later in Madrid with Fabio Aru becoming the first Sardinian to win a grand tour in a race that will be remembered for its incidents as much as its racing exploits. Despite the presence of Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali and Movistar's grand tour winning combination of Alejandro Valverde, the fight for the overall was between Aru, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha).

Dumoulin and double stage winner Esteban Chaves announced themselves as future GC contenders swapping the race leader's jersey in the first week before Aru and Rodríguez joined in the party. Dumoulin, Aru, Rodríguez, Dumoulin and then Aru took it in turns to wear red in the final week of the race as the overall came down to the penultimate stage.

Following on from the neutralised opening time trial stage which partly took place on a beach, Nibli was expelled from the race the next day for holding onto his team car while two incidents with race motos led to Tinkoff-Saxo riders abandoning the race. Peter Sagan was forced out of the race with second degree burns after being hit on the run into stage 8's finish while Sérgio Paulinho was a stage 11 casualty while riding in the breakaway.

Froome was also forced out of the race with injury following a crash that saw the Tour champion break his navicular bone.

While these events grabbed the headline, the Vuelta also ushered in a new generation of youth as eight riders enjoyed debut grand tour stage wins to confirm their place at the top level of the sport while six of the top were under 26.

Click through the gallery above to look back over the best action from the third and final grand tour of the 2015 season.

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