Vuelta Espana Winners, 1935 to 2021

Written by : Mr Mamil
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The Vuelta Espana (Tour of Spain) is the third Grand Tour of the year after the Giro d’Italia (May) and Tour de France (July) It’s held from late August to mid-September.

The Vuelta Espana is commonly known as the climber’s race as the route is littered with steep climbs, providing cycling fans plenty of entertainment. It’s also a race that provides the riders who failed to perform at the Tour de France the last chance to redeem themselves for the year.

A recent example is 3-times consecutive winner Primož Roglič. He finished second at the 2020 Tour de France and did not finish the 2021 edition. From there, he went on to redeem himself by winning the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Vuelta Espana.

Roberto Heras (Spain) has the most Vuelta Espana general classification wins with four (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005), followed by his fellow countryman Alberto Contador (2008, 2012, 2014), Primož Roglič (2019, 2020, 2021) and Swiss rider, Tony Rominger (1992, 1993, 1994).

Throughout its history since 1935, 60 riders have won the general classification.

4Roberto HerasSpain2000, 2003, 2004, 2005
3Primož RogličSlovenia2019, 2020, 2021
3Alberto ContadorSpain2008, 2012, 2014
3Tony RomingerSwitzerland1992, 1993, 1994
2Gustaaf DeloorBelgium1935, 1936
2Bernard HinaultFrance1978, 1983
2Denis MenchovRussia2005, 2007
2José Manuel FuenteSpain1972, 1974
2Julián BerrenderoSpain1941, 1942
2Pedro DelgadoSpain1985, 1989
2Alex ZülleSwitzerland1996, 1997
2Chris FroomeUnited Kingdom2011, 2017
1Eddy MerckxBelgium1973
1Edouard Van DyckBelgium1947
1Ferdinand BrackeBelgium1971
1Franz De MulderBelgium1960
1Freddy MaertensBelgium1977
1Luis HerreraColombia1987
1Nairo QuintanaColombia2016
1Eric CaritouxFrance1984
1Jacques AnquetilFrance1963
1Jean DottoFrance1955
1Jean StablinskiFrance1958
1Laurent JalabertFrance1995
1Raymond PoulidorFrance1964
1Roger PingeonFrance1969
1Jan UllrichGermany1999
1Rolf WolfshohlGermany1965
1Rudi AltigGermany1962
1Sean KellyIreland1988
1Angelo ConternoItaly1956
1Fabio AruItaly2015
1Felice GimondiItaly1968
1Giovanni BattaglinItaly1981
1Marco GiovannettiItaly1990
1Vincenzo NibaliItaly2010
1Alexander VinokourovKazakhstan2006
1Jan JanssenNetherlands1967
1Joop ZoetemelkNetherlands1979
1Abraham OlanoSpain1998
1Agustín TamamesSpain1975
1Aitor GonzálezSpain2002
1Alejandro ValverdeSpain2009
1Álvaro PinoSpain1986
1Ángel CaseroSpain2001
1Angelino SolerSpain1961
1Antonio SuárezSpain1959
1Bernardo RuizSpain1948
1Dalmacio LangaricaSpain1946,
1Delio RodriguezSpain1945
1Emilio RodriguezSpain1950
1Faustino RupérezSpain1980
1Francisco GabicaSpain1966
1Jesús LoroñoSpain1957
1José PesarrodonaSpain1976
1Luis OcañaSpain1970
1Marino LejarretaSpain1982
1Melchior MauriSpain1991
1Simon YatesUnited Kingdom2018
1Chris HornerUnited States2013

General Classification wins by country

14 different rider nationalities have won the Vuelta Espana general classification.

Spanish riders are by far the most successful for general classification wins. 24 different riders have won 32 editions from 1935 to 2021. The first Spanish winner was ​​Julián Berrendero in 1941, and the last winner was Alberto Contador in 2014.

Eight French riders won nine editions. The last French winner was Eric Caritoux in 1984.

Six Belgian riders won seven editions. The last Belgian winner was Freddy Maertens in 1977.

Six Italian riders won six editions. The last Italian winner was Fabio Aru in 2015.

CountryNo. of ridersGC winsLast winnerYear
Spain2432Alberto Contador2014
France89Eric Caritoux1984
Belgium67Freddy Maertens1977
Italy66Fabio Aru2015
Switzerland25Alex Zülle1997
Germany33Jan Ullrich1999
Slovenia13Primož Roglič2021
United Kingdom23Simon Yates2018
Colombia22Nairo Quintana2016
Netherlands22Joop Zoetemelk1979
Russia12Denis Menchov2007
Ireland11Sean Kelly1988
Kazakhstan11Alexander Vinokourov2006
United States11Chris Horner2013
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