Wednesday, May 22, 2024

La Vuelta 2019 – Stage 1; Salinas de Torrevieja > Torrevieja TTT

Inaugural 13.4 km Team Time-Trial on a flat urban circuit around the streets of Torrevieja. A short and fairly straightforward route that *should* have only a minimal impact on the overall standings...


HomeDiariesLa Vuelta 2019 - Stage 1; Salinas de Torrevieja > Torrevieja TTT


03:30 alarm, shower, shave, jump in the van, Hughie Morgan on Radio Two, bus, plane, the two lad beside us are wasted on Magners and red vino already – happy holidays boys. Alicante, ice cold San Miguel – I almost forgave the airport prices.

Damn – It’s hot! 

But there’s our boy Al to collect us and the air-con in the Megane works just fine.

Torrevieja, apparently aka “Costa Delle Yorkshire,” there are so many expats here – and venue for the opening nocturne TTT of La Vuelta 2019. 

La Vuelta 2019 opens in the salt processing area of Torrevieja. Photo©Ed Hood

The big industry here is salt – yes, the stuff you put on your chips – and what they scatter on the road to melt the ice and rot your car.

The flamingos fish in the salt lagoons; the more salt in the water, the pinker they get.

There are huge piles of the stuff everywhere.

Photo©Ed Hood

We find Race HQ and are soon in possession of the all-important credentials.

Time for lunch, 108 Euros for the langoustines? This isn’t the place…

Al takes us to a fave burger joint in the hills, our server is Belgian; we agree that Deceuninck are the boys on the flat but come those big mountains – not so much.

Back to Polop, I have a nap.

Photo©Ed Hood

Dinner is in the hills, the views are stunning.

Aqua only for Ed, that burger is laying heavy…

* * *

La Vuelta 2019 – Stage One

Despite the best efforts of the donkeys and dogs who conversed well into the night, I slept well.

Photo©Ed Hood

The forced march from Al’s up to town was worth it; spectacular views of the Leon Dormido and a few Euros buys you a café con leche and a LARGE Veterano up at the café which bears the same name as the huge rock.

Photo©Ed Hood
Photo©Ed Hood

Café con leche and a large Veterano – that’s a Spanish brandy, not for the faint hearted – as the local cycling club gathers for their Saturday morning run before the real heat of the day kicks in.

Photo©Ed Hood

Walk back to Al’s, do that computer stuff and lunch at the car wash – nice,

And now we’re en route Torrevieja…

Guardia Civil Tráfico motos as far as the eye can see. Photo©Martin Williamson
Jacob Fuglsang isn’t happy with his pedal. Photo©Martin Williamson
Photo©Ed Hood

‘Weight of a Nation,’ the crowd round the Movistar bus is huge, there’s a roar, the masses parts and there he is, ‘Bala’ – champion of the world, Alejandro Valverde.

No smiles from ‘Bala,’ ‘Spain expects,’ the pressure on the Movistar guys is palapable.

Seventh on the day – not so many seasons ago they would have won this…

Astana head for the win. Photo©Martin Williamson
Deceuninck second as the light fades. Photo©Martin Williamson
Sunweb third, in perfect formation. Photo©Martin Williamson
EF finished fourth. Photo©Ed Hood
Bora finish fifth on the salty, slippy roads. Photo©Martin Wil