Friday, May 27, 2022
HomeDiariesLa Vuelta a España 2008 - Day 5: Stage 15, Cudillero -...

La Vuelta a España 2008 – Day 5: Stage 15, Cudillero – Ponferrada


La Vuelta a España 2008 in Cudillero. The last day for us, but the sun was out, Asturias was looking at it’s best and Bill Medley and Jennifer Warne were on Kiss FM; “I’ve had, the time of my life,” – damn right!

Cudillero is a nice spot, not unlike one of the ‘smugglers villages’ in Cornwall, piled high into a steep cleft in the cliffs.

We were there before the teams and had time for a wander, a coffee and to buy an Asturias T-shirt, I’m 53, it’s sad, I know.

The game plan was for interviews first, then catch the stage finish in a bar, on the TV.

The CA bus was our primary target; Nicolas Roche and Jez Hunt. I showed my card to a team official, I got the usual grunts; “you must wait, I come back,” – what he forgot to say was that he would be back in a day or two.

Nicolas is a friendly lad.

The next chap we pitched was cool though and Nicolas (above) trotted down the steps to see us, he’s a good looking lad and recently got his first win as a pro and has a new contract with AG2R for 2009 – CA being defunct as of the season’s end.

…as is Jez – always ready for a blether.

Jez (above) had a tummy bug, he has good descriptive powers concerning the symptoms, but we won’t go into that here!

Eziquiel Mosquera rode fantastically.

It was trickier getting a few words with Eziquiel Mosquera (above), but if you ain’t persistent and patient, don’t even consider a career in journalism.

He exuded calm cool, very low profile, a man who talks with his pedals.

We got some good shots, then grabbed a few words with Tom Boonen – you guessed; “it’s all on Pez!”

The roll out was approaching and we stotted about, getting pics here and there.

The stars are just ‘one of the boys’ at the start; Bettini threw the paper off his roll at a young pro, who promptly bounced it back off the world champs forehead.

Contador could talk, as well as race for Spain.

I tried to get a few words with CSC’s Argentinean sprinter, JJ Haedo; “see me at the finish, please,” he replied – I could tell all wasn’t well with the man and it was no surprise when later in the day we heard that he’d ‘chucked it.’

The flag dropped and they were off, so were we, headed for Bilbao and the Easyjet to Reality City on Tuesday.

There was one more job to do though, watch the stage on the TV.

Café 2000 was a good venue, Davie talked the barmaid into switching on the big monitor and we saw some snippets of racing in between the huge ad breaks – that’s how it seemed, anyway.

Our barmaid made sure we had beer and the telly on the right channel.

I’ve said it in my Pez piece, but it was day of sparse crowds, but like I said, if nobody lives there, nobody is going to watch.

The result was a cracker – with our man Eziquiel’s team mate David Garcia Dapena wanting the win more than the three ‘big boys’ from the Pro Tour mega teams.

If I’m translating the Spanish newspapers correctly, it’s 19 years since a Galician won a Vuelta stage – Dapena’s DS, Alvaro Pino. (That’s the same Alvaro who has a wee bit of ‘previous’ remember – he was at Phonak, but had to ‘leave.’)

Davie drove as I tapped the BlackBerry keys, but we still had the pics to organise.

Bilbao was hellish, just so much traffic and it would have been very difficult to get a hotel.

We decide to head for Mungia, about 20 minutes outside Bilbao, where we had stayed four years ago.

We got a room at the same hotel and to my deep joy, the new ‘style bar’ next door to our digs, had free, fast wi-fi.

The pics flew, we paid the man and it was pizza time.

Reality tomorrow, and there’s nothing worse than leaving a stage race before the finish!

Hope you enjoyed the trip, until next time, adios amigos.

Cudillero is pastel-perfect.
Ed Hood
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 47 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, a team manager, and a sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days for some of the world's top riders. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

La Vuelta a España – Day 2: Rest Day, Comillas

Hola from Comillas! "Adios Valverde" - so says the sports paper AS in response to Alejandro dropping 3' 23" yesterday in what should have been an innocuous transition stage - those Spanish journos aren't shy. Sleep came easily last night; but I was on the laptop for 07.00 to get my Angliru piece written.

Vuelta a Espana 2018 Route Revealed in Estepona

This Saturday, 13th of January, Unipublic revealed the Vuelta a Espana 2018 route that will take place between the 25th of August and the 16th of September. The Spanish tour will depart from the Pompidou Centre in Malaga, in another clear example of the organisation’s aim to combine sports, culture and innovative departures.

Michael Mørkøv – “Winning the Danish Champion’s Jersey Again was beautiful”

He’s a versatile man that Michael Mørkøv; world champion on the track, Grand Tour stage winner, Cobbled Classics breakaway specialist, Six Day vedette, Danish Elite Road Race Champion, Classic podium finisher – and now arguably the best lead-out man in the business; right hand man to the man with the most successes this year, QuickStep’s rapid Italian Elite Road Race Champion, Elia Viviani, with 17 winner’s bouquets in 2018.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 9: Andorra – Barcelona 196.3 km

Joaquim Rodriguez is building on the foundation of respect he laid at the Giro. The little Catalan isn’t sitting around waiting on Froome bludgeoning him in the ‘contra reloj’ on Wednesday; he’s riding like a champion, ‘la course en tete’ – at the head of the race, especially when heading 'home' to Andorra.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 5: Logroño – Logroño 168.0 km

Argos’s John Degenkolb was ‘speechless’ about his second stage win in Logroño; but did manage to say that the last K was crazy fast and his team did a great job for him – that sounds about right.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 17: Santander – Power 187.3 km

There were no ‘pistolero’ gestures in Santander – it wasn’t a moment for playing to the photo opportunity. Just sheer joy of a man being back where he belongs – if you’ve taken the knocks and clawed back, then you’ll know that feeling.

At Random

Le Tour de France 2009 – Stage 5: Le Cap d’Agde > Perpignan, 196.5km

Today's fifth stage from Le Cap d'Agde saw the first successful breakaway of this year's Tour. Thomas Voeckler held off the chasing peloton by seven seconds to win out of a five-man escape in the flat but windy 196.5km course from Cap d'Agde to Perpignan. Russian rider Mikhail Ignatiev also held on from the break to claim second with British sprint phenom Mark Cavendish leading the pack snapping at their heels for third.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 17: Santander – Power 187.3 km

There were no ‘pistolero’ gestures in Santander – it wasn’t a moment for playing to the photo opportunity. Just sheer joy of a man being back where he belongs – if you’ve taken the knocks and clawed back, then you’ll know that feeling.

Raleigh Relives the Golden Age With 40th Anniversary Edition

Celebrating Joop Zoetemelk’s success 40 years on from the 1980 Tour de France, Raleigh is releasing an anniversary edition bicycle and frameset of the TI-Raleigh.

Scottish Cycling Super Six Series – Event 1, Gifford: Preview

Snowdrops by the roadside, fluffy white clouds scurrying across a blue sky, bright sunshine requiring the Ray Bans to get dusted-off, and a breeze that was fresh but not chilling-has Spring arrived in Gifford on this February Sunday? Nah! It'll be snowing, tomorrow! Still, it was a lovely day to recce the course for the first of James McCallum's 'Super Six' series; the timing was perfect, organiser Chris Harney pulled-on the brakes of his Orbea outside Gifford town hall, just as I stopped the Toyota beside the village green.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 6; Benalmadena – Cumbres Verdes (La Zubia), 157.7 km. Alessandro Valverde Takes Over

Alessandro Valverde was hugely impressive – not the shadow of himself we saw in the last week of the Tour. It’s like Robert Millar said; ‘there comes a day when you have to stop dreaming.’ That day was yesterday for many as we were reminded of the savagery of professional bike racing at the highest levels. There were no interlopers – just the best of the best, all of the pre-race favourites trying their best to waste each other on that horrible grind to the line.

Mitch Docker – Retirement and Life Outside the Peloton

On the weekends I take my dog for big walks and have started listening to podcasts as we enjoy the Fife Coastal Path and the mighty River Forth. My favourite listen is ‘Life in the Peloton’ hosted by the man with the mullet, ‘tache and natty choice in head wear – Mitch Docker.