Organisers of the Vuelta a España announced Tuesday that they would be introducing an official young rider competition in the 2019 edition of the Spanish Grand Tour. The highest placed under-26 rider in the general classification will wear a white jersey.
The Vuelta a España has used a white jersey in previous editions, however, it was worn by the rider leading the combined points ranking. This year, Simon Yates won the red jersey as the overall champion, and the white jersey as the rider with the highest combined points. There was no specific jersey associated with this best young rider in previous editions, although it was recognised with a trophy sponsored by the sports daily AS, the event's official newspaper.
The sponsor of this new white jersey, representing the best young rider, will be Feníe Energía, an electricity and gas utility company that over the past two years has sponsored the most aggressive rider prize. The combined ranking will disappear, although its sponsor – Fertiberia – will continue to be linked to La Vuelta.
"It is a privilege to clothe the rough diamonds of international cycling," said Isabel Reija, Feníe Energía's CEO, in a press statement. "Our jersey will be worn by today's finest young riders, who will go on to become tomorrow's stars. The generational handover in this sport is a reality, and we are delighted to be part of it, just as we are part of the regeneration of the energy sector."
This new white jersey for the best young rider will thus put an end to the combined ranking or combinada that has been a category since 1970. That ranking was based on the criterion of a sustained performance, taking the best cyclists in the overall standing, the mountain, and the table by points.