Every British Rider in the Vuelta a Espana

Robert Millar Vuelta
Robert Millar Vuelta

British riders in the Vuelta a Espana

Britain’s history and success in the Vuelta lie somewhere between the obsession with the Tour de France and the indifference to the Giro d’Italia. The first Brits took part in the 1955 Vuelta as part of a British national team. None of them finished that Vuelta and most didn’t return. The next year things changed. 3 riders helped boost the numbers of the Swiss Mixed team and Brian Robinson finished 8th Overall.

The 1960s continued that relative success with stage wins by Barry Hoban and Tom Simpson. Michael Wright even managed to wear the leader’s red jersey for a few days too. After the 60s came the 1970s and early 80s in which no British rider took part in the Vuelta between 1971 and 1983.

The latter part of the 1980s saw Robert Millar come within 36 seconds of winning the 1985 Vuelta. Now referred to as the ‘Stolen Vuelta’ (probably not by Spanish speakers), Spanish riders in the peloton ganged up on Millar and denied him and Britain their first Grand Tour victory. Malcolm Elliott took a surprise Points Jersey victory in 1989.

The 1990s were once again quiet, the 2000s were little better except for the unrelated David Millar winning stages and spending time in the red jersey. Then just like the rest of cycling, the British invasion took place in the 2010s. Mark Cavendish kicked things off by winning a Points Jersey in 2010. Chris Froome took the first Overall win in 2011 (although had to wait until 2019 to be awarded it), he took his 2nd win in 2017 and Simon Yates won in 2018 too.

Similar posts about Brits in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.

Brian Robinson
Brian Robinson

1950s

Ken Mitchell (1955)

Best finish: DNF, 1955

Ian Brown (1955)

Best finish: DNF, 1955

John Pottier (1955)

Best finish: DNF, 1955

Leslie Scales (1955)

Best finish: DNF, 1955

Ian Steel (1955-56)

Best finish: DNF, 1955 & 1956

Anthony Hoar (1956)

Best finish: DNF, 1956

Brian Robinson (1956)

Best finish: 8th, 1956


Barry Hoban
Barry Hoban

1960s

Barry Hoban (1964-65)

Best finish: 29th, 1966
Stage Wins: 2

Tom Simpson (1967)

Best finish: 33rd, 1966
Stage Wins: 2

Michael Wright (1968-1970)

Best finish: 5th, 1969
Days in Red: 3


1970s

William Bilsland (1970)

Best finish: DNF, 1970


Robert Millar
Robert Millar

1980s

David Akam (1984)

Best finish: DNF, 1984

Robert Millar (1985-86, 1988, 1992-94)

Best finish: 2nd, 1985 & 1986
Days in Pink: 13
Stage Wins: 1

Sean Yates (1985, 1988)

Best finish: 71st, 1985
Stage Wins: 1

Deno Davie (1988-89)

Best finish: 100th, 1988

Malcolm Elliott (1988-92)

Best finish: 51st, 1991
Stage Wins: 3

Max Sciandri (1989, 1991, 1996)

Best finish: DNF, 1989 & 1991 & 1996
In 1989 & 1991 Max Sciandri raced as Italian


1990s

David Rayner (1991)

Best finish: 57th, 1991

Nigel Perry (1993)

Best finish: DNF, 1993

Harry Lodge (1994)

Best finish: DNF, 1994

Chris Boardman (1997-98)

Best finish: DNF, 1997 & 1998


David Millar

2000s

David Millar (2001-03, 2006, 2009-10, 2014)

Best finish: 41st, 2001
Days in Red: 3
Stage Wins: 5

Charly Wegelius (2002, 2005-06, 2009)

Best finish: 61st, 2009

Jeremy Hunt (2002, 2008)

Best finish: 107th, 2008

Roger Hammond (2009)

Best finish: 97th, 2009


Chris Froome Tour of Britain 2018
Chris Froome

2010s

Mark Cavendish (2010-11)

Best finish: 144th, 2010
Overall Points Jersey: 2010
Days in Red: 2
Stage Wins: 4

Ben Swift (2010, 2012)

Best finish: 121st, 2012

Ian Stannard (2010-12, 2017, 2019)

Best finish: 106th, 2019

Pete Kennaugh (2010, 2014, 2016)

Best finish: 42nd, 2016
Days in Red: 1

Sir Bradley Wiggins (2011-12)

Best finish: 2nd, 2011
Days in Red: 4

Chris Froome (2011-12, 2014-17)

Best finish: 1st, 2011 & 2017
Overall Red Jersey: 2011 & 2017
Overall Points Jersey: 2017
Days in Red: 19
Stage Wins: 6

Steve Cummings (2012, 2015, 2018)

Best finish: 102nd, 2015
Stage Wins: 1

Andrew Fenn (2013)

Best finish: DNF, 2013

Luke Rowe (2013-14)

Best finish: 141st, 2013

Adam Yates (2014, 2017-18)

Best finish: 34th, 2017

Geraint Thomas (2015)

Best finish: 69th, 2015

Scott Thwaites (2016)

Best finish: 116th, 2016

Simon Yates (2016-18)

Best finish: 1st, 2018
Days in Red 10
Stage Wins: 2

Hugh Carthy (2016, 2019)

Best finish: 125th, 2016

Adam Blythe (2017)

Best finish: 155th, 2017

Mark Christian (2017)

Best finish: 138th, 2017

Tao Geoghegan Hart (2018-19)

Best finish: 20th, 2019

Owain Doull (2019)

Best finish: 71st, 2019

James Knox (2019)

Best finish: 11th, 2019

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