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Tag: La Vuelta a España 2010
The Vuelta starts in a few day's time and so in this week's 'VV Selects' we look back at our last day covering the race nine years ago, when the stage began in Gijón. We conducted the now-popular 'chat at the team buses' to hear some thoughts from DS's Gert-Jan Theunisse, Dimitri Konyshev, Hendrik Redant and Rik Van Slycke, and various riders such as on-form Carlos Barredo, Greg Van Avermaet and the late Wouter Weylandt.
Santander airport, the queues are horrible and we'll have another one for the Stansted to Prestwick flight, no doubt. After yesterday's grim weather we're bathed in beautiful sunshine today. The stage start was in Gijón so we rattled up from Cangas de Onis for our last look at the 2010 Vuelta.
Carlos Barredo's grandmother wells up, 'my God, my God' she keeps repeating as Carlos's amigo hugs her - the man himself hurtled past just seconds ago to join the immortals as a winner on the Lagos de Covadonga. They're standing beside us at the 150m to go mark, and in the mist and cloud once again, QuickStep have done the job. The break survivors limp by before a snarling Ezequiel Mosquera flashes past, intent on putting as much time into the other 'heads' as he possibly can.
It's 10:00 pm and we've just finished dinner in our 'local' at Cangas de Onis, we were here last night too. The Mahou is cold, the food is good and the wi-fi is free. It's a working dinner, words and pictures get dealt with in between patatas bravas and chorizo. 'Lagos de Covadonga' - one of the Vuelta legends.
'Why do you want to go further, nothing is there?' the cute park ranger asks us; she's guarding the last section of the fabled climb. We're beside Lago Enol, one of the beautiful Lagos de Covadonga and we need to drive the finale to complete our mission for the day. 'Two minutes?' we plead with her - 'you have ten and then I come looking for you!' she smiles. She's right, low cloud, grass, rock and no lightweight climbers - just a lone Asturian cow...
La Vuelta a España in Burgos. Friday: Alarm at 03:15, bolt at 04:00, 90 minutes to Prestwick, flight at 06:00, Stansted, flight at 14:00 - and here we are, Santander. Santander is the main town of Cantabria; but we're headed south to Burgos which is in Castilla y Leon, the same region as Madrid.
On Friday La Vuelta a Espana arrives in Burgos, Castile y León, having travelled from Rincón de Soto, famous as the pear capital of La Rioja. The riders will have endured almost 200km of undulating terrain, and conquered the Pradilla and Valmala passes towards the end of the stage on the way. Bunch sprint? We wouldn't bet on it.
Dozens of SMS and emails flash up on my BlackBerry each day, most are chaff and get deleted after a quick glance — but when one comes in to tell me that ‘Michael Mørkøv excluded from the Vuelta by WADA’ that makes me take notice.
The La Vuelta a España 2010 presentation was in Sevilla this year (normally Madrid), the start town of next year's race. Some of the old stars of cycling where in attendance; Thevenet, Olano, Hinault and introducing the show Pedro Delgado. Hinault pointed out that one of his hardest day on a bike was the stage to Avila in 1983 which he won stage and overall.