• The Vuelta a España (Getty)Source: Getty
The last of 2017’s Grand Tours of cycling, the Vuelta a España, comes to SBS VICELAND and for the first time on free-to-air TV all stages will be broadcast live across the three weeks of racing.
Cycling Central

20 Jul 2017 - 5:54 PM  UPDATED 21 Jul 2017 - 3:29 AM

The Vuelta a España will air from Saturday August 19th to Sunday, September 10th, nightly on SBS VICELAND (check local guides for times). The race will also be streamed live via the SBS OnDemand platform.

The Vuelta is made up of 21 stages and covers a total distance of 3,297.7 kilometres. Beginning with a team time trial in the French city Nîmes, the elite international riders will work their way through the gruelling course across Spain to the finish line in Madrid.

This announcement of SBS’s increased cycling coverage comes as the biggest event in world cycling, the Tour de France, hits its final stages this weekend.

“We made major enhancements to SBS’s Tour de France coverage this year, including, for the first time, every moment of every stage available to viewers on our digital platforms, and an increased ‘videofirst’ focus, SBS Director of Sport Ken Shipp said.

“It’s important as the broadcaster of such an iconic and much-loved event that we refresh our coverage regularly. It’s fantastic to see the cycling audience’s response this year, particularly with significant digital wins.”

Online, daily video views for the Tour de France are up 61.2 per cent on 2016, and so far there have been 2.2 million video streams served across all SBS platforms (including SBS On Demand, sbs.com.au and the ŠKODA Tour Tracker mobile app).

On the ŠKODA Tour Tracker app, Unique Browsers are up 60.6 per cent on 2016.

The SBS Cycling Central Zwift Tour de France podcast, an irreverent and punchy look at the world of professional cycling has been recorded completely on-ground in France at the race for the first time. The podcast has achieved an impressive 5-star rating and is consistently in the top three ranking sport podcasts on iTunes.

On TV, ratings for the live stages of the Tour de France are up year on year by 7.1 per cent (+18,000), with the nightly live stages delivering average audiences of 271,000 (metro + regional), with four stages of racing still remaining.

Before the Vuelta a España begins, Australian cycling audiences can tune into the final stages of the Tour de France to see if Australia's own Michael Matthews can hold on to the Green Jersey which is awarded to the best sprinter, and become the third ever Australian to claim that title.

Watch the dramatic conclusion of the Tour de France nightly on SBS, with the final stage as the riders roll onto the Champs-Élysées in Paris on Sunday 23 July, from 11.30pm AEST.