No one can ever accuse Spanish veteran José Vicente “Chente” García Acosta of being a slacker.
The Caisse d’Epargne rider completed his 25th grand tour Sunday with the conclusion of the 64th Vuelta a España.
And that number is just from racing the Vuelta a España and the Tour de France. Somewhat surprisingly, García Acosta has never raced a Giro d’Italia since turning pro in 1995.
“I’ve never had the chance to race the Giro, but it’s never too late,” García Acosta said after wrapping up the Vuelta on Sunday. “I’ve started and finished 12 Tours and 13 Vueltas.”
García Acosta, who’s won stages in both the Tour and Vuelta, is a journeyman gregario and helped steer teammate Alejandro Valverde to overall Vuelta victory.
The 37-year-old was supposed to race the Tour this year, but suffered a horrible crash at the Tour of Flanders in April and skipped what would have been 13th Tour.
“Unfortunately, I had to renounce the Tour this year after 12 consecutive participations. I couldn’t recover in time to race, and everyone knows, you need to be 100 percent at the start of the Tour,” he said. “I am happy with how this Vuelta went. I’ve recovered completely and I am back to full health, with a lot of motivation to keep racing.”
García Acosta has a contract to race next year and expects to be back for more grand tours.