The Vuelta is over but the excitement of the race lingers on. This week we celebrate, through the lens of photographer Yuzuru Sunada, the stars of the year’s final grand tour. Alberto Contador stamped his authority on the peloton in his first major tour since his suspension. Not only did he climb at his best, but daring attacks and a true spark won over his fans and his country.
John Degenkolb of Germany dominated the sprints stages, while Philippe Gilbert put a lackluster season back on course with two stage victories. Young Aussie, Simon Clarke, powered through to take the overall king of the mountains title. Throughout much of the Vuelta, Joaquim Rodriguez was the man of the moment. He was virtually unstoppable on the steepest slopes, yet understood his weakness in the time trial and, ultimately, against the tactical savvy of Contador.
In the end, the Vuelta proved anything but boring, as Sunada’s images remind us.