10 YEARS WITH LA ROJA
December 19 th 2018 - 20:30
Life, power, passion, heart and strength are all ideas associated with the red colour. They are also ideas associated with Spain and La Vuelta. They are terms that we adopted as our own ten years ago, when we made red our colour: the colour wore by the overall leader, the colour of winning and the eager pursuit of victory in an exciting race.
We shifted away from gold in 2009, making Alejandro Valverde the last wearer of the gold jersey, as a way of staking our claim as a great race, as the great Vuelta that we already were and as a way of finding an element that could represent and highlight the passion and intensity that surround the event. 10 years later, we have certainly achieved that goal.
The red jersey brings to mind the young Vincenzo Nibali securing the leadership at La Bola del Mundo; it brings to mind Juanjo Cobo surprising the seemingly all-powerful Team Sky with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome; it calls up dreams of more attacks by Alberto Contador, reinventing stages and securing victories. The red jersey in La Vuelta brings to mind Chris Horner beating Nibali and winning at Angliru. It reminds us of Fabio Aru giving his all in the mountains around Madrid in his rivalry with the wholehearted Tom Dumoulin, who ended up losing everything; and Nairo Quintana coming through the titanic struggle at the Lakes of Covandonga to the joys of victory. Chris Froome and Simon Yates also put their wagers on red and came home victorious.
The name of the successor to these great champions, the wearer of the red jersey of the 2019 Vuelta, will be the tenth to be inscribed on the star-studded victory roll. To get there, he will have to undergo three weeks of tough, exciting racing on the roads of Spain, France and Andorra, and understand that this year the red colour will shine out brighter than ever in the multi-coloured procession of riders.