The 2011 Vuelta a Espańa concluded in Madrid on Sunday September 11th. Often overlooked when compared to the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia, the Vuelta allows riders the opportunity to seek retribution for earlier season shortcomings or to develop form for the last races of the season.
The 2011 edition saw an extremely unexpected winner in Juan José Cobo from team Geox-TMC, David Moncoutié winning a record fourth Climber's Jersey, and the return to the Basque region of Spain for the first time in 33 years. The Vuelta usually indicates who has form for the fall races, including the World Championships, and also distinguishes a few riders to watch out for in the next season. Here are five lessons that were learned from the 2011 edition of the Vuelta a Espańa.