The Tour de France this year proved to be a spectacular victory for the British cyclist Chris Froome as he cycled away with the yellow jersey. However, he wasn’t on his own in deserving a mention. The Spanish riders Alejandro Valverde and Quintana made the final podium as team winners.
If you have become a cycling addict during the Tour de France and want to see more then the good news is that you can. Towards the end of August it’s Spain’s turn to host famous cyclists with La Vuelta or the tour of Spain. It might be less famous that the Tour de France but it still commands attention with the spectacular views of stunning countryside, towns and historic sites in the challenging heat of the summer.
La Vuelta is now 80 years old, a rite of passage that was celebrated at the Casa de Campo in Madrid. The first La Vuelta took place on 29th April 1935. Since then, each year has seen some changes to locations. In 2015 we see Cazorla joining the list of Municipalities that are hosting the event and some places, such as Lleida and Estepona returning as venues.
It’s got a new mascot too. Tei-Tei is a bull who was selected as the emblem to represent the Spanish culture. The idea of the mascot is to engage the cyclists of the future in La Vuelta and he has already met some of the young fans of this important cycle race.
The tour of Spain starts on Saturday 22nd August in Puerto Banús, Costa del Sol. It is made up of 21 stages covering a total distance of 3,374.4 kilometres and will finish on 13th September. During all this time there are only two rest days.
Participating teams include Germany, Russia, Netherlands, USA, Great Britain, France, Colombia, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and, of course, Spain. There will be approximately 198 riders and the cities we will see them flash through include Castellón, Valencia, Murcia, and, Torrevieja.
On Sunday 30th August it will be the first time that La Vuelta visits the Valencian Community. It will set off from Torrevieja on the ninth stage having come from Murcia the day before. The cyclists will then travel up to the Cumbre del Sol in Benitachell.
La Vuelta de España has passed through Torrevieja on other occasions but it has never started or finished there before, so this is quite a momentous occasion. The tourist trade is set to make the most of the opportunities that it will provide with restaurants and hotels gearing up for the event. The only pity is that it takes place right at the time of the seaside town’s busiest season when hotel and rental occupancy is already high.
It’s still unclear whether Chris Froome will grace us with his presence. Either way this 80th cycling event is set to be one that the town of Torrevieja will not forget.