Between the 20th of August and the 11th of September, the Tour de España will return with its epic duels, entertainment and emotion that have become customary to one of the most important sporting events. Alicante will become the host of two of its stages, a privilege repeated for a second consecutive year, with the ninth stage of this event being held last year in this province. This event presents a perfect opportunity to promote cycling amongst the younger generation whilst also showing the international fans why the Cost Blanca is one of the most popular tourist destinations.
The 71’st edition of the Tour de España is of particular interest to fans of the region; Following the announcement made by Eduardo Dolon, deputy and vice president of tourism, the region of Alicante has become the official location for 2 of the 21 stages that compose the 2016 competition – A challenge comprised of 3,277 kilometres that will connect Madrid and Galicia, taking its participants to the peaks of the French Pyrenees.
One of the most notable stages of the event is number 19, which runs through the towns of Xàbia and Calpe, passing through the municipals of El Poble Nou de Benitatxell, Teulada, Moraira and Benissa; This year, stage 19 will consist of a time trial comprised of 39 kilometres which will mark a before and after in the history of this competition considering this has never been done before in the third to last stage of the event.
81 Years of The Tour de España
It was spring 1935, when Madrid would host the first edition of the Tour de España, a duel stretching 3,425 kilometres divided into 14 stages, which would crown Belgian Gustaaf Deloor winner against Spanish Mariano Cañardo. Just like other cycling events, it was thanks to Juan Pujol and Clemente López Doriga for the creation of this epic competition, which is now included in the international cycling ‘tour de’ events.
Unlike other competitions, the Tour de España has never had a set colour scheme for its participants, beginning with an orange colour scheme which would then be changed in 1941 to white due to a change in the organizers of the competition. A year later it would return to its original colour, and then in 1945 become red; In 1955 it would once again become yellow with golden tones so it could be distinguished from the French ‘maillot’. Since 2010, the leaders of the competition have worn red, something that could be changed in the near future however – A rare custom which distinguishes this event from others.
Of all participants in this event, we have to mention Roberto Heras, who won the gold on four separate occasions – The only cyclist thus far to hold such a record; We cannot forget about Delio Rodriguez, who holds the record for the most stages won, 39 in total, nor Alex Zülle who has worn the leaders clothing on 45 separate occasions – Certainly distinguishable figures in this event.
Not only will this event “Take advantage of the roads and facilities for cycling ” as stated by Eduardo Dolón, but will also promote the Costa Blanca region in general just like many other events have, such as the Volvo Ocean Race, Formula One, the Valencian Bonfire festivals etc.
Almost a century of passion for cycling, a century of emotion and entertainment that has no reason to envy the Four de France or Tour de Italy – Are you brave enough to experience this event live?