La Vuelta 2023 Betting Favourites

La Vuelta 2023 Betting Favourites
La Vuelta 2022 - Stage 13 - Ronda - Montilla

Country: Spain
Level: World Tour
Total Stages: 21
Mountain Stages: 7
Sprint Stages: 5
Time Trials: 1
Team Time Trials: 1
Stages: LFR

The runt of the litter, La Vuelta occurs last of the grand tours, and is commonly used as a backup option for riders who perform badly or crash out of either the Giro or the Tour de France. But don't let that mistake you on its prowess. La Vuelta is known for having the steepest climbs (not necessarily the hardest or longest) as they ride through the Pyrenees and Asturias of Spain.

Heat has continually affected La Vuelta in recent years, with stages being cancelled due to extreme heat, and certain riders dropping out due to not being able to handle the head.

La Vuelta is known to produce some of the best power output, and best climbs of rider’s careers given how climbs typically start near or at sea level. By starting at sea level, a rider’s performance is not affected by riding at an elevated altitude level for the climb or stage.

For example, if a rider rode the same climb (same gradient, same distance) but started at 800m above sea level compared to at sea level, they would naturally perform worse. Most climbs in the Tour de France or the Giro start at higher altitudes and hence riders don’t produce the same watts per kilogram as other races; including the La Vuelta in this case.

The odds have not yet dropped on the betting markets but there's obviously two main favourites for this race, and we'd argue there's three, which makes betting on the overall winner in an each way bet extremely difficult.

Who are those two to three riders who should easily clinch the podium? Remco Evenepoel, Primož Roglič and Juan Ayuso.

Update! Apparently Vingegaard will be making an attempt at the double and will be attending this year's event. 🎉

The probable podium for La Vuelta prior to Jonas

Our customary podium slot diagram is rather boring as we're not even taking a stance on who will beat the other. They're all relatively evenly matched.

But now with Vingegaard, we might take a stance. Mainly that Roglič won't beat Vingegaard and Vingegaard will come either first or second.

The probable podium for La Vuelta after Jonas

Race Profile

A hectic first week, especially the brutally hard second day (relatively speaking) means that this race will either start off fast, or allow a huge number of breakaways to fill the space.

The first nine days before the rest day are just drastically difficult compared to your average Grand Tour.

The time trials are both too short to cause much time gaps so Evenepoel isn't going to get a huge amount of benefit from being a strong time trialist. Especially given that one of them is a team trial. It might even be a wash from that standpoint give that Roglič and Ayuso both have strong time trialing teams.

The second week is where the majority of the the large climbs are, with no dramatic last few days on offer in our opinon. If you're going to win the race, you best do it on one of those especial climbs in the second week.

The climbs themselves are steep at times, and often you'll have that characterestic Vuelta stage that is all flat except for a final climb at the end that generates all the elevation game for the day.

"Value" Riders Picks & Favourites

Names have begun to semi finalize for the race so we'll pick out a few who we're thinking will have some longer odds than they should. But they might not.

Kévin Vauqelin

We did a whole rider profile on this man so read about him here

Kévin Vauqelin Pro Cyclist Rider Profile | Pro Cycling Bets
France’s next great hope for professional cycling. A deep dive into the strengths, weaknesses, future performance, and when to bet on Vauqelin.

Romain Grégoire

This man is fast and not everyone knows it yet. He picked up the GC win at 4 Jours de Dunkerque and had some solid top 10 performances at Tour de Suisse

Lenny Martinez

Grégoire's teammate, Lenny can climb - showing off his stuff multiple times this year, most notably at the Mont Ventoux challenge where he beat Mike Woods. His ITT could use some work though. He'll get there.

Cian Uijtdebroeks

Another rider who've we written about. Cian didn't perform as well as we'd though in Tour de Suisse but still had a remarkable performance given his age. His ITT at the Belgium Nationals given fierce competitors was also strong.

Cian Uijtdebroeks Pro Cyclist Profile | Pro Cycling Bets
One of Belgium’s next great professional cyclist. An analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, future performance, and when to bet on Cian Uijtdebroeks.

Teams Picks & Favourites

Movistar always shows up big for their national race, we expect the same to occur here as well. Who knows they might even retain their white jerseys from the Tour de France to reduce the heat these riders are going to take from the August sun and also their local media.


Corners: 16
Hills: 0
Distance: 14.45km

This is a short team time trial. Not only that, it's technically difficult, with a total of 16 hard corners over the course of the race. It will be interesting which teams perform best, but they'll need some good inter team communication, which isn't usually those like Movistar.

Elevation Gain: 2542m

A hefty amount of climbing right out of the gate. It's not usual to see a category two climb so early in a race. But I guess this is the Vuelta. You have Coll de Sant Bartomeu right off the bat, a category 3 of 6.3km @ 4.5%. A break should easily form over it. They'll have to surpass Coll d'Estenalles is 9.4km @ 3.9% without the peloton catching them. If they hold onto enough of a gap over that they still have to survive another 100+km's by themselves.

What are we suggesting? That GC is going to use this, especially with the 1km kicker of 8.5% which a punchy rider like Ayuso or Roglič might love.

Elevation Gain: 3486m

Two category one climbs on stage three? On stage three? Wow. They really don't want any sprinters coming to this race. The first is Coll d'Ordino which is 9km @ 5% followed by a hot and fast descent of 600m over 15km and then Arinsal Andorra which is 7km @ 8.2%

Elevation Gain: 1798m

Guess they wanted to reward sprinters who stuck around. Two rather simple climbs puncture this stage; Alto de Belltall - 9.1km @ 3.7% and Coll de Lilla - 5.3km @ 5.2%. Given this is a downhill finish it'll be fast heading into that finishing straight. Mayhem could happen.

Elevation Gain: 2384m

Like the prior stage, a net downhill. But the category two climb roughly around 50kms from the finish might prove to be a good juncture for a break to form and stay away given the closeness to the finish (and that uncategorized climb rather close to the finish)

Elevation Gain: 3976m

Another big stage for a first week of a grand tour. Almost 4000m of elevation gain, and almost no downhills to speak of. Two category three climbs at the start will most likely be ignored (5.5km @ 4.7%, and 6.2km @ 6.0%) and riders will save their energy for the final Observatorio Astrofisico de Javalambre. The climb itself is a category one climb of 11km at roughly 8%. It's a mountain top finish so expect some GC action.

Elevation Gain: 987m

After a hectic first week, the riders will most certainly need a day like this. Almost all downhill and with the last 80km pan flat, expect a nice and simple bunch sprint. A break may form over the initial kickers depending on the time gaps that exist after the first week.

Elevation Gain: 3608m

This is an above average difficulty stage. Five climbs, four of which are category two or higher. They may remove that descent finish given the Gino Mäder passing but we'll assume for analysis that it stays in. So what are the climbs?

8.1km @ 5.6%, then 4km @ 5.7%, then 9.1km @ 5.1%, then 11km @ 4.6%. The 4th is 50km out from the finish and is close enough that it could prove to be a break launching pad. Regardless of who reaches it first though Xorret de Cati faces them of 3.8km @ 11.5% a category one brutally steep final climb before a 2km descent finish.

Elevation Gain: 2899m

A relatively straightforward category one climb faces them at the 60km mark - 12km of climbing at 5%. It'll take a while but nothing to get up in arms about. Follow that up with 8km @ 5.4% right at the finish with the startingg ramp being 2km @ 9.5%. Whoever goes for the win should attack early and be able to hold it for the next 6m to the finish.

Elevation Gain: 112m
Corners: 13

Riders will get a rest day before this one. Will Vingegaard pull out another stage 16 Tour de France 2023 given that? Unlikely. There's not enough climbing. Note that while it's 25km, most of the corners happen within the first 15km. The final 10 is basically a pan flat straightaway hammer fest to the finish. The 600m kicker at the start, is, well, steep to say the least. Might be enough for a "full threat of death" descender to pick up a few seconds.

Elevation Gain: 2214m

Ah. We like these stages. Nothing much occurring until right at the end. A break might form on the flat, but it's more likely that GC action might occur on the final categorized one climb - 8.3km @ 5.8%

Elevation Gain: 888m

Everyone should let the break or sprinters have this one. It's a transition and rest day for the riders at the very least, with a net downhill of 800m.

Elevation Gain: 4282m

Oh boy. The first of the Hors Catégori climbs appear. And not just one, but two. I guess they're called "especial" for this race. Regardless. Interesting design. Riders start on a climb of 4.5km @ 5.5%, then descend for 28km only to begin immediately climbing their first "especial" climb of Col d'Aubisque (16.6km - 7%). They have a small climb of Col du Soulor of 2.1km @ 5% after that followed by Col de Spandelles, a categorized one climb of 10.4km @ 8.1%. Phew that's steep.

Finally, after a valley and some reprieve they face the well known Col du Tourmalet which is 18.8km @ 7.4%

Elevation Gain: 4565m

Back to back hard days. Unrelenting. We guess if you're in the mountains might as well reduce your environmental footprint. At least they've switched up the especial climbs. But there's still two of them. And closer together.

At the 70km marker they face the first one, Col Hourcère -  11.6km @ 8.3%, a valley and then the second especial Puerto de Larau - 15km @ 7.8%, starting with the first 10.3km on Col d'Erroymendi of 10.3km @ 9.1%.

After a fast descent they face a relatively easy climb of 3.2km @ 5.8%, then 25km of flat before starting a category one Larra-Belagua - 9.4km @ 6.3% where they finish at the top.

Elevation Gain: 2331m
The riders. will get a rest day after this day, but I guess the organizers wanted to give them a taper into the rest day. Still, there's three category three climbs in here, that are definitely on the harder end, or at least longer end, of the spectrum.

The first at roughly 75km in is 19.4km @ 2.6%, then 8.5km @ 5.1%, and finally 6.5km @ 5.1%. The last is still 8km out from the finish which what looks like a casual descent. We could see a break forming over the second climb and holding out until the end.

But with the rest day the next day some GC teams may attempt to make up some time.

Elevation Gain: 2066m

Similar to stage eleven. Another one of those where there's nothing much going on until right at the end. The final finishing climb is a category two of 4.7km @ 8.7%. Given however the riders just had a rest day before, it's not like they'll need to take it easy today.

But there's no good juncture for an attack, so a break will probably win here and the riders will save their legs for what's to come.

Elevation Gain: 3291m

Here we go again. The final mountain stages have started. Three hard climbs in relatively short succession. The riders get 70kms of flase flat and then face Alto de la Colladiella of 6.5km @ 7.9%, get a repreive of 25km and then face Alto del Cordal of 5.7km @ 8.5%.

Finally after a fast descent of 8km they start the especial climb of Altu de l'Angliru, well known to Vuelta fans. The total climb is 13.2km @ 9.4% with the first ramp of 4.7km @ 7.3%, then a steep next ramp of 6.5km @ 13.3%. Brutal. A very slight descent before the finish.

Elevation Gain: 4624m

A heck of a lot of elevation gain on this one after a tough past few days. Five climbs punctuate this stage, and while none of them are especial, they most certainly are not easy.

What we love is there's an initial climb of 3km @ 5.6% that's not even marked out on the map given the veracity of the difficulty of the other five climbs.

So what do we have? We'll call out that initial 3km climb of 5.6% and then roughly 10km later they face 5.1km @ 7.5% where breaks could form (if not on the initial climb). The large Puerto de San Lorenzo faces them 20km later which is 10km @ 8.5% with steeper sections throughout.

After a long descent they face 3.4km @ 9.4% (steep!) and then Puerto de la Cruz de Linares which they'll do twice. The climb is 8.3km @ 8.5% with the first 4.8km @ 10.3%. We expect a major GC attack over the first pass of this climb. If the GC rider knows they've done it once they'll know they have the legs to do it again.

Elevation Gain: 935m

A rest day that isn't legally called a rest day. Boy will those riders need it after the past few days. Expect a break to win, or a bunch sprint if some of the sprinters have survived the mountains.

But more likely a break given the time gaps that must have formed over the mountains.

Elevation Gain: 4330m

A saw toothed profile if we've ever seen one. We mean, it's pretty easy to create a saw toothed profile if you're repeating sections of a course. Basically they're doing an out and back loop so face the same five category three climbs twice. But the second time it's in reverse. Let's spell it out.

10.8km @ 3.4%, 8km @ 4.6%, 9km @ 4.1%, 4.8km @ 5.6%, and finally 3.8km @ 6.4%. Then just do that all in reverse, for a rather long stage of 208km total.

Interesting penultimate stage design. A strong GC team might be able to do some damage in the second half, but we expect a controlled peloton with a break winning.

Elevation Gain: 854m

Just shy of 100km, this ceremonial day finishes with 8 laps in Madrid around the finish line. If there's any sprinter still left after the hectic and heavy Vuelta stages we all know and love we'll happily hand the red carpet to them on this one.

What to expect in the coming weeks?

La Vuelta 2022 - Mountainous Terrain