As the Vuelta draws to a close in Madrid, our riders look back on a rewarding three-week tour
The Vuelta a España has arrived in Madrid.
After a frenzied finish in the center of the Spanish capital, riding the elegant promenades of the city, passing restaurants and nightclubs and tens of thousands of Spanish fans, our runners arrived at the Plaza de Cibeles and crossed the last finish line of the Tour of Spain.
EF Education-EasyPost Athletic Director Juanma Garate is proud of how our team raced. Rigoberto Urán finished ninth overall in the 2022 Vuelta and took a fine win atop the Monasterio de Tentudía on Stage 17. Julius van den Berg wore the King of the Mountains jersey on his home roads in the Netherlands, where the Vuelta started three long weeks ago.
“We came with high expectations into the GC with the three riders we had: Esteban, Hugh and Rigo. ‘never lost the good spirit,” says Juanma. “They kept believing in it, and in a three-week race, you really have to keep believing in it. They kept believing, kept fighting, kept making breakaways. And Rigo finished it. It was really a highlight for me, for the rest of the team, for the staff. By catching the breaks, Rigo slowly returned to the general classification and was able, with the help of his teammates, to maintain ninth place in the general classification.
These were our triumphs. Every rider on our team did their part. When the going got tough, our riders never gave up hope. They rode steep mountain roads in the Montes Vascos, Picos de Europa and Sierra Nevada, in 35 degree Celsius heat, under the blinding Spanish sun. They kept going, so Rigo could win and finish in the top ten of the GC. Each Vuelta finisher has their own story. Big tours are tough. Riding one is a magnificent athletic feat. This is what it means for our riders to finish the Vuelta a España 2022 in Madrid.
Julius van denberg
“It was a special Vuelta for sure because the start was in Holland, my home country. I could go for the peas in the first road stage. It was amazing. Seeing so many people, shouting my name, it was really special for me personally. It was amazing. And then the real Vuelta started in Spain. The GC started for us. We had higher expectations than those that finally worked out, but with the victory stage with Rigo and 9th place overall, we had a good race and the atmosphere in the team was really good. I think everyone can be happy with this result. I really appreciated it.”
“I enjoyed it. Sometimes you put a lot of pressure on yourself, but I tried to enjoy every stage, adapt to every stage and run every stage. Even the flat stages in Holland would have been easy to let go. But I tried to learn something every day and enjoy it, and not get bogged down thinking “there are 12 steps to go, 15 steps to go”. went by pretty quickly. I enjoyed it. And I think we got something out of it. every day.”
“The last week was too long for me. I was hoping to keep my form from the first week on the whole Vuelta, but that’s how it is. Anyway, I was happy to share this Vuelta with my team-mates. is still my best Vuelta, so I’m still happy with it.”
“It was a very hard and difficult Vuelta. But we were focused, always looking for an opportunity. In the end, I’m happy with the result, with the way everything ended. We enjoyed the last stage to Madrid.”
“It was my first big tour, and I can’t think of a better band to have done it with. Rigo got a result. We got a top ten. What more could you ask for”
“I’m really happy to be here in Madrid to finish this big tour. Since we started in Utrecht it’s been really good, with Julius in the climber’s jersey. And then Rigo got a stage victory and got into the top ten overall. For my part, I crashed on the stage in Utrecht and couldn’t compete. It wasn’t what I expected from my performance. was pretty tough but over the last two days I was getting better and better and as I say I was really happy to be here with my team mates and the staff. The body is can -be tired, but the head is still strong. It was a good tour.
“It was a great Vuelta, a good Vuelta. The team was great, always ready to work. The staff, everyone, had a good experience here. I’m happy to win a stage and finish in the top ten. first.”