In the 2010 Vuelta a Espana, 21 professional cycling teams tackled 21 stages over 3400 kilometers (2112.7 miles) through the Spanish countryside.
Highlights of the race:
Stage 1: The first nighttime team time trial through the floodlit streets of Seville made for a dramatic and practical short race. Sprinting favorite Mark Cavendish’s HTC team won the stage and Cav donned the leader red jersey.
Stage 2: Belorussian Yauheni Hutarovich won the stage over sprinting favorites Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar. Hot temps over 100 degrees Fahrenheit made it difficult for all the riders. Cavendish kept the red jersey.
Stage 3: Hot temps and hilly conditions suited the mountain climbers and Belgian Philippe Gilbert won the stage and took the red jersey away from Cavendish.
Stage 4: Spaniard Igor Anton won the stage and Gilbert remained in the red jersey.
Stage 5: American Tyler Farrar won the stage over sprinting rival Mark Cavendish who came in third. Gilbert retained the red jersey.
Stage 6: “God of Thunder” Thor Hushovd won the stage. Gilbert remained in the red jersey.
Stage 7: “Attacki” Petacchi won the stage. Team Sky masseur Txema Gonzalez died of a bacterial illness. Gilbert remained in the red jersey.
Stage 8: The entire Team Sky withdrew after the death of their masseur and the stage opened with a moment of silence. French rider David Moncoutie took the stage win and Spainiard Igor Anton took over the red leader jersey.
Stage 9: Spaniard David Lopez Garcia won the stage. Igor Anton was still in red.
Stage 10: Team Saxo Bank withdrew Andy Schleck and Stuart O’Grady before the stage start for team rule violation of drinking after dinner. Imanol Erviti won the stage and Joaquin “Purito” Rodriquez took over the red leader jersey.
Stage 11: Igor Anton won the stage and regained the red jersey.
Stage 12 and 13: Brit Mark Cavendish won both stages. Igor Anton was still in red.
Stage 14: Igor Anton suffered a race-ending crash and was forced to abandon the race. Joaquin Rodriguez won the stage and Vincenzo Nibali was now wearing red.
Stage 15: Spaniard Carlos Barredo won the stage. Vincenzo Nibali still wore red.
Stage 16: Spaniard Mikel Nieve won the stage and Rodriguez regained the red jersey.
Stage 17: Slovak Peter Velits won the stage to upset favorite Swiss time trial champion Fabian Cancellara. Nibali regained red.
Stage 18: Cavendish won his third stage win. Vincenzo Nibali still wore red.
Stage 19: Fabian Cancellara swiftly withdrew from the race after riding a few kilometers and upset his team managers. Gilbert won his second stage and Nibali gained seconds on time rival Spaniard Ezequiel Mosquera.
Stage 20: The last epic battle in the mountains between Nibali and Mosquera ended with victory in the stage for Mosquera but Nibali retained his lead and the winning time to take the red jersey home.
Stage 21: Tyler Farrar won his second stage but Mark Cavendish won the green points jersey. Vincenzo Nibali won overall as well as took the white allround jersey. David Moncoutie took home the “King of the Mountains” blue polka dot jersey. Team Katusha won the team classification.
Final top 10 standings:
1) NIBALI, Vincenzo – Liquigas: 87:18:31
2) MOSQUERA, Ezequiel – Xacobeo Galicia: + 43″
3) VELITS, Peter – HTC-Columbia: + 3’04”
4) RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin – Katusha: + 4’22”
5) SCHLECK, Frank – Team Saxo Bank: + 4’45”
6) TONDO, Xavier – Cervelo Test Team: + 4’54”
7) ROCHE, Nicholas – Ag2r la Mondiale: + 5’05”
8) SASTRE, Carlos – Cervelo Test Team: + 6’08”
9) DANIELSON, Thomas – Garmin-Transitions: 6’18”
10) SANCHEZ, Luis Leon – Caisse d’Epargne: 7’44”