1973 Vuelta a España


1973 Vuelta a España
Race details
Dates26 April – 13 May
Stages17 stages + Prologue, including 4 split stages
Distance3,061.8 km (1,903 mi)
Winning time84h 40' 50"
Winner  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (Molteni)
  Second  Luis Ocaña (ESP) (Bic)
  Third  Bernard Thévenet (FRA) (Peugeot-B.P.)

Points  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (Molteni)
Mountains  José Luis Abilleira (ESP) (La Casera)
Combination  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (Molteni)
  Sprints  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (Molteni)
  Team La Casera
← 1972
1974 →

The 28th Edition Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain), a long-distance bicycle stage race and one of the 3 grand tours, was held from April 26 to May 13, 1973. It consisted of 17 stages covering a total of 3,061 km, and was won by Eddy Merckx of the Molteni cycling team. As Merckx had already won several editions of the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia with his win in the Vuelta, he became the third cyclist after Jacques Anquetil and Felice Gimondi to win all three grand tours in his career. Merckx went on to win the 1973 Giro d'Italia and became the first cyclist to win the Vuelta-Giro double. Merckx also won the points classification and José Luis Abilleira won the mountains classification. With Merckx finishing first, Ocaña second and Thévenet third the podium of the 1973 Vuelta contained one previous winner and two future winners of the Tour de France making it one of the best podiums in the history of the race, according to the official race website. Gerben Karstens won 4 stages in this Vuelta.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]


A total of eight teams were invited to participate in the 1973 Vuelta a España.[9] Each team sent a squad of ten riders, which meant that the race started with a peloton of 80 cyclists.[9] 62 cyclists reached the finish in San Sebastián.[10]

The teams entering the race were:[9]

  • Monte Verde
  • Rokado

Route and stagesEdit

Stage characteristics and results[11]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 26 April Calp to Calp 5 km (3 mi)   Individual time trial   Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1 27 April Calp to Murcia 187 km (116 mi)   Pieter Nassen (BEL)
2 28 April Murcia to Albacete 156 km (97 mi)   Gerben Karstens (NED)
3 29 April Albacete to Alcázar de San Juan 146 km (91 mi)   Pieter Nassen (BEL)
4 30 April Alcázar de San Juan to Cuenca 169 km (105 mi)   Jos Deschoenmaecker (BEL)
5 1 May Cuenca to Teruel 191 km (119 mi)   Gerben Karstens (NED)
6a 2 May Teruel to La Pobla de Farnals 150 km (93 mi)   Roger Swerts (BEL)
6b La Pobla de Farnals 5 km (3 mi)   Team time trial Molteni
7 3 May La Pobla de Farnals to Castellón de la Plana 165 km (103 mi)   Gerben Karstens (NED)
8 4 May Castellón de la Plana to Calafell 245 km (152 mi)   Eddy Merckx (BEL)
9a 5 May Calafell to Barcelona 80 km (50 mi)   Juan Manuel Santisteban (ESP)
9b Barcelona to Barcelona 37.9 km (24 mi)   Individual time trial   Jacques Esclassan (FRA)
10 6 May Barcelona to Empuriabrava 171 km (106 mi)   Eddy Merckx (BEL)
11 7 May Empuriabrava to Manresa 225 km (140 mi)   Bernard Thévenet (FRA)
12 8 May Manresa to Zaragoza 259 km (161 mi)   Gerben Karstens (NED)
13 9 May Mallén to Irache [es] 175 km (109 mi)   Domingo Perurena (ESP)
14 10 May Irache [es] to Bilbao 182 km (113 mi)   Juan Zurano (ESP)
15a 11 May Bilbao to Torrelavega 154 km (96 mi)   Eddy Peelman (BEL)
15b Torrelavega to Torrelavega 17.4 km (11 mi)   Individual time trial   Eddy Merckx (BEL)
16 12 May Torrelavega to Miranda de Ebro 203 km (126 mi)   Eddy Merckx (BEL)
17a 13 May Miranda de Ebro to Tolosa, Gipuzkoa 127 km (79 mi)   Eddy Peelman (BEL)
17b Hernani to San Sebastián 10.5 km (7 mi)   Individual time trial   Eddy Merckx (BEL)
Total 3,016.8 km (1,875 mi)

Classification leadershipEdit

Four different jerseys were worn during the 1973 Vuelta a España. The leader of the general classification – calculated by adding the stage finish times of each rider, and allowing time bonuses for the first three finishers on mass-start stages – wore a golden jersey.[10] This classification is the most important of the race, and its winner is considered as the winner of the Vuelta.

For the points classification, which awarded a light blue jersey to its leader, cyclists were given points for finishing a stage in the top 15; additional points could also be won in intermediate sprints. The green jersey was awarded to the mountains classification leader.[10] In this ranking, points were won by reaching the summit of a climb ahead of other cyclists. Each climb was ranked as either first, second or third category, with more points available for higher category climbs. The combination classification awarded a red jersey to its leader.[10]

Although no jersey was awarded, there was also one classification for the teams, in which the stage finish times of the best three cyclists per team were added; the leading team was the one with the lowest total time.

The rows in the following table correspond to the jerseys awarded after that stage was run.

Classification leadership by stage
Stage Winner General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification
Combination classification
Team classification
P Eddy Merckx Eddy Merckx not awarded not awarded not awarded not awarded
1 Pieter Nassen Pieter Nassen Domingo Perurena Rokado
2 Gerben Karstens Gerben Karstens Gerben Karstens Javier Elorriaga & Jean-Jacques Fussien
3 Pieter Nassen Pieter Nassen José Luis Abilleira Jean-Jacques Fussien
4 Jos Deschoenmaecker José Pesarrodona KAS
5 Gerben Karstens Gerben Karstens
6a Roger Swerts José Luis Galdamez Molteni
6b Molteni
7 Gerben Karstens Eddy Merckx
8 Eddy Merckx
9a Juan Manuel Santisteban
9b Jacques Esclassan
10 Eddy Merckx
11 Bernard Thévenet Eddy Merckx La Casera
12 Gerben Karstens
13 Domingo Perurena
14 Juan Zurano
15a Eddy Peelman Eddy Merckx
15b Eddy Merckx
16 Eddy Merckx
17a Eddy Peelman
17b Eddy Merckx
Final Eddy Merckx Eddy Merckx José Luis Abilleira Eddy Merckx La Casera

Final standingsEdit

      Denotes the winner of the General classification       Denotes the winner of the Mountains classification
      Denotes the winner of the Points classification       Denotes the winner of the Combination classification

General ClassificationEdit

Final general classification (1–10)[10]
Rank Name Team Time
1   Eddy Merckx (BEL)       Molteni 84h 40' 50"
2   Luis Ocaña (ESP) Bic + 3' 46"
3   Bernard Thévenet (FRA) Peugeot-B.P. + 4' 16"
4   José Pesarrodona (ESP) KAS + 5' 54"
5   Pedro Torres (ESP) La Casera + 7' 29"
6   Joaquim Agostinho (POR) Bic + 8' 15"
7   Agustín Tamames (ESP) La Casera + 9' 15"
8   Luis Balague (ESP) La Casera + 12' 26"
9   Roger Swerts (BEL) Molteni + 13' 27"
10   Jesús Manzaneque (ESP) La Casera + 15' 01"

Points classificationEdit

Final points classification (1–3)[10]
Rider Team Points
1   Eddy Merckx (BEL)       Molteni 215.5
2   Roger Swerts (BEL) Molteni 162.5
3   Pieter Nassen (BEL) Rokado 154.5

Mountains classificationEdit

Final mountains classification (1–4)[10]
Rider Team Points
1   José Luis Abilleira (ESP)   La Casera 97
2   Eddy Merckx (BEL)       Molteni 83
3   Luis Balague (ESP) La Casera 60
4   Pedro Torres (ESP) La Casera 50

Combination classificationEdit

Final combination classification (1–3)[10]
Rider Team Points
1   Eddy Merckx (BEL)       Molteni 18
2   José Luis Abilleira (ESP)   La Casera 11
3   José Luis Galdamez (ESP) Coelima-Benfica 6

Team classificationEdit

Final team classification (1–8)[10]
Team Time
1 La Casera 254h 01' 59"
2 Bic + 4' 44"
3 Molteni + 6' 24"
4 KAS + 11' 28"
5 Monte Verde + 29' 01"
6 Coelima-Benfica + 32' 03"
7 Peugeot-B.P. + 32' 51"
8 Rokado + 51' 22"

Intermediate sprints classificationEdit

Final intermediate sprints classification (1–10)[10]
Rider Team Points
1   Eddy Merckx (BEL)       Molteni 26
2   Javier Elorriaga (ESP) KAS 24
3   José Luis Galdamez (ESP) Coelima-Benfica 15
4   Fernando Mendes (POR) Coelima-Benfica 10
5   Eddy Peelman (BEL) Rokado 9
6   José Luis Abilleira (ESP)   La Casera 6
7   Domingo Perurena (ESP) KAS
8   Jan Van de Wiele (BEL) Rokado
9   Joseph Bruyère (BEL) Molteni 5
10   Roger Swerts (BEL) Molteni



  1. ^ "General Information 1973". La Vuelta.com. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  2. ^ http://hemeroteca.mundodeportivo.com/preview/1973/05/14/pagina-30/991057/pdf.html
  3. ^ http://hemeroteca.mundodeportivo.com/preview/1973/05/14/pagina-32/991059/pdf.html
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2020-05-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ http://hemeroteca-paginas.mundodeportivo.com/EMD01/HEM/1973/04/27/MD19730427-021.pdf
  6. ^ http://hemerotecadigital.bne.es/pdf.raw?query=id:0012343127&lang=en&log=19730223-00000-00004/Diario+de+avisos+%28Santa+Cruz+de+La+Palma%29#page=1
  7. ^ http://hemerotecadigital.bne.es/pdf.raw?query=id:0012343572&lang=en&log=19730425-00000-00004/Diario+de+avisos+%28Santa+Cruz+de+La+Palma%29#page=1
  8. ^ http://hemerotecadigital.bne.es/pdf.raw?query=id:0012343587&lang=en&log=19730427-00000-00001/Diario+de+avisos+%28Santa+Cruz+de+La+Palma%29#page=1
  9. ^ a b c "Los Dorsales de Los 80 Participantes" [The numbers worn by 80 participants] (PDF). El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo S.A. 26 April 1973. p. 18. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Clasificaciones oficiales" [Official classifications] (PDF). El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo S.A. 14 May 1973. p. 31. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Resumen etapas y kilometraje" [Summary stages and mileage] (PDF). El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo S.A. 26 April 1973. p. 19. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2012.