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Vuelta a España countdown: Beginner's Guide

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Bang! Bang! Bang! Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) makes it three Vuelta titles

Bang! Bang! Bang! Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) makes it three Vuelta titles (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru (Astana) climbs with Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha)

Fabio Aru (Astana) climbs with Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome (Team Sky) trying to drop Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Chris Froome (Team Sky) trying to drop Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Carrefour, a French supermarket, sponsors the Vuelta a Espana's red leader's jersey.

Carrefour, a French supermarket, sponsors the Vuelta a Espana's red leader's jersey. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome kisses his 2015 Tour de France trophy

Chris Froome kisses his 2015 Tour de France trophy (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

The Vuelta a España is the third, and final, Grand Tour of the season. It is also the youngest of the three, after it was inaugurated in 1935.

Beginning in Puerto Banús this Saturday, the testing race route 3,300 kilometres before the sprint finish in Madrid on September 13. It is the longest Vuelta in 16 years and puts the GC contenders to the test almost immediately, with mountain stages coming in the opening week.

Defending champion Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) won’t be present but the likes of Chris Froome (Team Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) will all be fighting for overall victory. Also up for grabs are the points, mountains, combined and team classifications, with Tinkoff-Saxo confirming that Peter Sagan will be joint team leader with Rafa Majka. 

Get up to speed with the Vuelta a España by watching our beginner’s guide and click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel.