Vuelta a Colombia
|English name||Tour of Colombia|
|Local name(s)||Vuelta a Colombia (Spanish)|
|Editions||64 (as of 2014)|
|First winner||Efraín Forero Triviño (COL)|
|Most wins||Rafael Antonio Niño (COL) (6 wins)|
|Most recent||Mauricio Ortega (COL)|
The Vuelta a Colombia (Spanish for Tour of Colombia) is an annual cycling road race, run over many stages throughout different regions in Colombia and sometimes Venezuela and Ecuador during the first days of August. It is organized by the Colombian Cycling Federation.
The first Vuelta a Colombia was held in 1951. It was a 1,233 kilometers race which was divided in 10 stages which included three rest days. Thirty-five cyclists lined up for the race and of which thirty finished the race. The first champion of the Vuelta was Efraín Forero Triviño who won seven stages of the race. For the second edition, the race was increased in stages to 13 and was around 1,670 km in length. It was held from the 12 to the 27 or 28 January 1952. It appears that 60 cyclists lined up for the race. The 3rd edition of the race was the first edition to have 15 stages that covered 1,750 km.
Over the years, there has been several serious accidents and even deaths during the race. Some of these cyclists, who have had very serious and career-ending accidents, include Conrado "Tito" Gallo, Gilberto Achicanoy, Felipe Liñán and Ernesto Santander. In 2005, there was a tragic accident in the Vuelta in which a local radio journalist, Alberto Martínez Prader, died while transmitting the race. Martinez was traveling in a jeep with José Fernando López and Héctor Urrego when, descending from the La Linea peak towards Calarcá, the vehicle lost control on a curve and fell into a ravine.
It is currently a fifteen-stage race that is regarded as one of the toughest races in cycling. The mountain passes that the peloton encounters are hundreds of metres higher than any of the passes used in the Tour de France.
- "Federacion Colombiana de Ciclismo" (in Spanish). Ciclismode colombia. Archived from the original on 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
- "History of the Vuelta a Colombia". Compania Nacional de Chocolates. Retrieved 2007-08-10.
- "1a Vuelta a Colombia". Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- "Vuelta a Colombia Histoia 1951". Ciclismo de Colombia. Archived from the original on 2007-03-27. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
- "2a Vuelta a Colombia". Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- "3a Vuelta a Colombia 1953". Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- "Anecdotario de la Vuelta". Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- "Sports journalist dies in accident in Tour of Colombia". People's Daily online. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- "Henao wins Vuelta a Colombia". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2010-09-17.