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Spain's Biggest Cycle Race La Vuelta
On Sunday the 21st of August, the La Vuelta Cyclists came speeding through Villajoyosa on the first stage of this important Cycling race.
The La Vuelta is the Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France, and I invite you to enjoy the race as it speeds through Villa via my photographs.
About an hour or so, before the cyclists arrived preparations began in the town. People began to gather in little groups along the route and the Guardia and Policia Locale closed the roads that intersected the race's route.
I felt the excitement and expectation building as I made my way past the groups of spectators claiming their vantage point from where they were to watch the race. Soon I arrived at the spot that I had picked out the day before.
About an hour or so, before the cyclists arrived in Villajoyosa preparations began in the town.
Temperature in the mid 90's
This Guardia officer, like all the Guardia motorcyclist Officers, has on his full uniform and on this day, the temperature must have been in the mid nineties. I took this photograph wearing lightweight cotton cut-offs and a light cotton tee shirt and I had real difficulty with the heat that day. I do not know how those officers or the cyclists in the race coped with the heat.
First on the scene were the Guardia Civil and they arrived in great numbers. Some arrived in their 4x4’s others on their motorbikes.
Here Come the Guardia
Cycling is a very popular sport in Spain and most weekends local clubs are out on the roads especially the roads leading up into the mountains.
In the middle of all the race preparations that were going on some of these local cyclists decided to take the opportunity to try out the route for themselves. It must have been quite an experience for the local cyclists, riding along a route lined with enthusiastic spectators. The spectators cheered and clapped as these local cyclists raced along the route.
Press, support Cars and Helicopters
The press came next riding pillion along with dozens of support cars with spare cycles on their car roofs. It was quite a sight to see, so many support cars with so many spare cycles, evidence of what a rugged race the La Vuelta is. Overhead flew two helicopters which I think contained TV film crews.
Press, Support Cars and Helicopters
The heat that day was tremendous but in spite of that, the Cyclists came powering through the town, moving swiftly along the race’s route. How those cyclists managed to expend so much energy I will never know, the heat got the better of me and I was only standing and taking photographs. I drank copious amounts of water to stave off dehydration and yet the heat was still getting the better of me.
The Race is over
This section of the race was over very quickly because it started out from Benidorm, which is only a few kilometres away from Villajoyosa. The riders were still very fresh when they arrive in Villajoyosa and because of this; the field was still fairly tightly packed.
There were a few stragglers but even they were not that far behind the main pack at this stage.
More Support cars and Guardia Civil brought up the rear and within a few minutes of the cyclists passing through the town, the stewards and Guardia Civil removed the roadblocks. Very soon, there was no sign that the race had happened.
The last photograph in the Hub is of the corner that I stood on to take the photographs during the race, as you can see it was very quickly back to normal.
The crowds dispersed very quickly mainly seeking out the local bars and cafés to enjoy a cool drink out of the heat, as for me I headed for home to see how my photographs had turned out.
The Race is over
I hope that you have enjoyed seeing this small part of the La Vuelta thank you for your visit.