Tour of Spain 2016

By A.S.O

Galicia, a marvellous region combining the charms of the Atlantic Ocean and the neighbouring mountains to display splendid landscapes, is a land of cycling. Like in 2013, it hosts the Grand Depart of the Tour of Spain, the most spectacular grand Tour every year. Holder Fabio Aru is not defending his title but the quality of the well-balanced course of this 71st edition as well as the presence of Chris Froome (Team Sky), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar), as well as fast improving Esteban Chaves (Orica-Bikes Exchange), French veteran Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale), American Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), France’s Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), Tour de Suisse winner Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), South-Africa’s Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida), 3 ‘’Grand Tour’’ in a row Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), and ambitious American Andrew Talansky (Cannondale) make up for a promising three weeks for chief organiser Javier Guillen.
Javier Guillen, what do you expect from this 2016 Vuelta?
I wish for it to be even more spectacular than the 2015 edition which was decided on the last Saturday, on the eve of the final stage in Madrid when Fabio Aru finally toppled red jersey holder Tom Dumoulin. The course we have designed this year should make it possible for the outcome to be decided in the difficult penultimate stage held on September 10 between Benidorm and Alto Aitana. The field is also exceptional, especially with the presence of Alberto Contador, and it should contribute to the quality of the race.

As usual, the course looks ideal for intense fights, especially in the finales of stages 8 to 11 and finishes taking place in La Camperona, Alto de Naranco, Lagos de Covadonga and Pena Cabarga?
I believe that this succession of stages will make it possible to see a real “cycling show” but you must bear in mind that the final climbs will each time be the only ascent of the day. La Camperona is only two hard kilometres, Alto de Naranco is not a decisive climb, the ascent to the Lakes of Codavonga will be a first test to see who is in great shape while Pena Cabarga will not make a big difference. I don’t think the name of the final winner will be known after this succession of stages.

One of the key stages will finish up in France, in Gourette, on the slopes of Aubisque. Is it the queen stage?
I don’t like this expression too much because we work hard with my team for every stage to be a success. On paper, with six passes and more than 5,000 metres of elevation, it is indeed an important stage which will be decided on a mythical climb. I also hope for the last stage before Madrid, at the top of Alto Aitana, to be just as important. I expect a lot from the last weekend.

Is it the reason why the only individual time trial (stage 19, Xabia-Calpe, 37 km) is held so close to Madrid? 
Last year, with a time trial held in the third week in Burgos, we realised how important it was for the final GC. It will again be the case this time. The other timed stage belongs to the tradition of the Vuelta with a team time trial on the first day. Exceptionally, it will be “normal” stage, held on flat terrain. It is quite long but as early as stage 3, the red jersey will again be at stake with a finish at the top of Mirador de Ezaro.

What do you answer to those who say there is little room for sprinters in the Vuelta?
I count five or six ideal stages fro a bunch sprint, especially in the first days in Baiona, Lugo and Puebla de Sanabria. The Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia do not have more sprint finishes. Of course there is room for sprinters.

Finally, Javier, tell us about the Grand Depart in Galicia?
We are delighted to hold six stages in this beautiful community and this year, we’ll be visiting four provinces of Galicia. We held the Grand Depart here in 2013, the final stage in Santiago in 2014 and every time, a warm welcome was given to the Vuelta. Galicians love cycling and always showed it with great enthusiasm. Once again, it will be a great party.
Top International Professionals enter Challenge Wanaka
Challenge Wanaka continues to attract triathlon's big names to the shores of Lake Wanaka in 2019, with some of the world's best confirming their participation. American triathlon powerhouse, Andrew Starykowicz will be certainly pushing the envelope in Wanaka.
Saturday, 5 January 2019
Breca Swimrun Launches National Championships
Tuesday, 4 December 2018
Captivating Finishes at BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge
Epic results unfolded today at the 42nd annual BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge.
Monday, 26 November 2018
Wanaka athlete crowned 25thPeak to Peak supreme winner
Stunning bluebird weather greeted competitors at the 25thannual Torpedo7 Peak to Peak multisport race Saturday.
Monday, 13 August 2018
Taupo named as finalist in race to host 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championship
IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, announced today that Perth, Western Australia and Taupō, New Zealand have been named finalists to host the IRONMAN®70.3® World Championship triathlon which will rotate to the Oceania region in 2020.
Wednesday, 13 June 2018

News Index »