[Updated with a rubbish film – see below] Anyone bonkers enough to cycle non-stop for hours in Spain, in August, deserves a medal – or a cold beer at least. But talk to us about cycling? Forget it. But maybe we’re about to get a tiny bit interested in it – the circus is coming to town.
Beginning in 1935, the Vuelta a España is a racing tour inspired by the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, and one which pre-dates the Spanish Civil War. It was put on hold during it only to resurface in 1941. It’s been held annually since 1955. This year’s race began on 22 August, in Marbella and covers a staggering 3,357km (that would get you from here to Nova Scotia).
The tour heads all over Spain but should you be in La Alpujarra – and Órgiva – on Friday 28 August, the cyclists will pour through the area in a broken dam of wheels, sweat and sponsored shirts – with, no doubt, plenty of support from local spectators.
Held over 21 stages, our neck of the woods gets a look-in at Stage 7. Beginning at Jodar, way north of Granada, the race heads south through Lanjarón, via Órgiva, before heading to Pampaneira and Capileira. That’s 191km! It is the first time a stage has finished in La Alpujarra.
As CyclingNews puts it: `There’s barely a metre of flat road on this stage, which concludes with the first high-altitude summit´(OK, we´ll stop moaning about carrying our shopping home in the heat from now on).
The riders should pass through Órgiva – at the 172km point – around 5pm, but don’t blame us if they don’t; they may stop off in Lanjarón to buy a wicker basket or carved walking stick. Check the link at the bottom for detailed information on timings.
Here’s the route, courtesy of the organiser’s website (click to enlarge).
© con jamón spain