Beginning with the race’s 2019 edition, La Vuelta’s white jersey, which thus far has been worn by the leading rider in the combined ranking, will be worn by the best young cyclist in the peloton. The jersey will correspond to the rider aged under 26 that stands in highest place in the overall standings. Until now, there was no specific jersey associated with this placing, although it was recognised with a trophy sponsored by the sports daily AS, La Vuelta’s official newspaper. The sponsor of this new white jersey will now be Feníe Energía, which over the past two years has sponsored the most aggressive rider prize. The combined ranking disappears, although its sponsor – Fertiberia – will continue to be linked to La Vuelta.
Following La Vuelta 18, which was characterized by youth, with the second youngest podium in the race’s history, La Vuelta has decided to strengthen its commitment to the promising riders in the peloton. As with the leaders in other rankings, the best young cyclist will wear a jersey that makes them stand out within the group. La Vuelta is therefore following the example of the Tour de France, whose white jersey for the best young rider has been worn by such famous names such as Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Romain Bardet. La Vuelta first began to honour the best riders under the age of 26 in 2017 with a trophy sponsored by AS, the race’s official newspaper. The two winners of this prize so far have been the Colombian Miguel Ángel López (Astana Pro Team), in 2017, and Spain’s Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors), in 2018.
Feníe Energía, one of La Vuelta’s main sponsors since 2017, thus becomes the first sponsor of La Vuelta’s white jersey. “It is a privilege to clothe the rough diamonds of international cycling. Our jersey will be worn by today’s finest young riders, who will go on to become tomorrow’s stars. The generational handover in this sport is a reality, and we are delighted to be part of it, just as we are part of the regeneration of the energy sector”, said Isabel Reija, Feníe Energía’s CEO.
Feníe Energía, is an independent electricity and gas utility company that has recorded the highest growth in Spain with over 400,000 customers, and it shares La Vuelta’s core values of endeavour and sustainability, as well as youth, as it has only been in business for eight years.
This new white jersey for the best young rider puts an end to the combined ranking, as it will no longer be part of the in-race prizes. This ranking was based on the criterion of a sustained performance, taking the best cyclists in the overall standing, the mountain, and the table by points. La combinada made their first appearance in La Vuelta in 1970, and the first rider to wear the jersey was the Belgian Guido Reybrouck. From then on, it featured intermittently until it was finally fully reinstated in 2003. The honours board for past winners of this prize include such famous names as Eddy Merckx, Sean Kelly, Tony Rominger, Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome, among others.
Fertiberia has sponsored this jersey since 2008. This Spanish company, a European market leader in the fertilisers and chemical products industry, will continue to be linked to La Vuelta as an official sponsor, and will be actively involved in other areas of the race.
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