The Vuelta de España 2019 started on Saturday in that little piece of England called Torrevieja. Making its way up the Mediterranean coast, through the barren flatlands towards France. A time trial in Pau, which isn’t in Spain thrown in. Finally, in Stage 12, the race arrives in proper Spanish cycling country. However, this year is a Vuelta without Galicia. That is a real shame, as every time the Vuelta comes to Galicia, the crowds are huge. Also, the riders themselves are always enchanted by the routes, and the abundance of excellent cycling.
A Vuelta Without Galicia
The Vuelta seems to meander through unpopulated parts of Spain, across empty arid backdrops. And then a finish in the town that pays the most for the arrival. It really doesn’t promote the places that have cycling at their heart. When the Vuelta arrives in areas such as the Basque country, Asturias and Galicia, it comes alive. Unfortunately, these areas are not the wealthiest, so cannot afford to pay for the fiesta. And cycling suffers. Steve Cummings , the great English cyclist couldn´t believe what Galicia was like. Its abundance of mountain climbs , its constant undulations led him to say. “A flat stage with nearly 3000m accumulation. Never seen that before !”. And Carlton Kirby’s famous comment about Galicia. “It is like Cornwall with better food wand weather.”
Return in 2021 for Xacobeo
All of us in Galicia hope that we see the Vuelta back here in 2021. It is a Xacobeo year, when the national day of Spain, July 25th falls on a Sunday. Public funds are increased, as there is an influx of visitors to Santiago. They flock here to enjoy the Galician heritage, learn more about the Celtic roots of the region, and of course its natural beauty. And above all to experience the wonderful Galician gastronomy and hospitality. A Vuelta without Galicia is not a Vuelta at all.