The Vuelta often suffers from ‘Tour fatigue’ with its placement on the World Tour calendar so late in the season. Many riders use it as a form builder for the World Championships, but most pull out in the final week which can be disappointing to see the race not taken seriously. According to Pro Cycling Stats, since 2001, all 12 winners of the World Championships have raced the Vuelta, but only two of them actually finished.

That said, the Vuelta can often be the most exciting Grand Tour to follow.  This year’s edition was no exception. The red leader’s jersey switched hands ten times throughout the race. When Nibali and Horner eventually rose above the rest, only three seconds separated them in the final stages and it was anyone’s guess who would take the win.

As usual, the race was not without controversy and many people asked how Chris Horner could come back after not racing for six months (because of a knee injury) and win his first Grand Tour at nearly 42 years of age. A fair question, but when you’re filled with this much love, it would be hard not to win:

I hope you enjoyed following the Vuelta as much as we did. Without further ado, here is a beautiful photo gallery of the race by Japanese photographer, Kei Tsuji (and a few by Cor Vos).