LA VUELTA A ESPAÑA RETURNS FOR ITS 74TH EDITION
Spain, and one of Europe’s, largest cycling spectacles will return for its 74th edition this summer. La Vuelta a España will commence on 24 August in Salinas de Torrevieja before finishing up in Fuenlabrada on the outskirts of Madrid on 15 September 2019.
La Vuelta is an annual multi-stage cycling race primarily held in Spain and other bordering nations that first began in 1935, although was postponed during the Spanish Civil War and World War II, and makes up the prestigious Grand Tours with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.
Modern editions of La Vuelta consist of 21 day-long stages over a 23-day period with two rest days. Each year the route changes although the format is the same with the appearance of at least two time trials, a passage through the Pyrenees and the final stage taking place in the capital.
The route for the 2019 edition will cover a total distance of 3,272 km and will include eight uphill finishes, five of which are new. The first three stages will take place on the Costa Blanca before heading for a spectacular mountain stage in Andorra which will feature a new ascent to Coll d’Engolasters. The race then crosses the border to France, returning to the Peninsula via Navarre, the Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias, where it will visit some familiar peaks and also some new ones for this year, such as Santuario del Acebo or Alto de La Cubilla, to the delight of mountain climbers. The final week will traverse through Spain’s central regions before a heart-stopping finale in the Gredos and Guadarrama mountains. The final day acts as an homage to the overall winner and wearer of the red jersey, La Roja – now celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Organisers of La Vuelta will hope to replicate the successes of last year after being broadcasted in 189 countries, reaching 950,000 fans on social media with two million interactions and an overall traffic of six million unique visitors to the La Vuelta official website. In addition, this year organisers have turned their attention to the sustainability of the event with eight stages using volunteers for waste collection and all trophies being made from recycled glass collected by stage residents.
Aside from being a huge event in Spain’s sporting calendar, La Vuelta also showcases the best of the Iberian nation to spectators, whether it be the salt lakes of Salinas de Torrevieja, the dramatic mountains of the Pyrenees, or the rolling green hills of northern Spain.