Asturias is once again the protagonist of the Tour of Spain in the decisive week of the race. Tomorrow the race will arrive at Los Lagos, the most visited summit of the Spanish round, which this year will be promoted for the twenty-second time, while the next day there will be an unprecedented final at the top of Gamoniteiru. On the other hand, Salas and Tapia de Casariego will be stage starts, although it is not the first time that both towns have fired the cyclists: Salas did it in the 1993 edition, with the Salas-Ferrol stage, of 247 kilometers, while Tapia de Casariego did it in the 1995 edition, in a stage that ended in La Coruña.
The Principality confirms one more year the great role it has in the Tour of Spain. Proof of this is that of the 76 editions that have been contested, only in 17 Asturias stopped being present in the race, the last of them in 2009. The longest period of absence was five years, from 1969 to 1973. He returned in 1974 and he did it in a big way, because that was when the victory of José Manuel Fuente “El Tarangu” took place at the top of Naranco, in an edition that ended with the victory of the Asturian runner, his second triumph in the final general. He is the only cyclist in the region who has succeeded.
The idyll of the Vuelta con Asturias began on May 24, 1936, when Gijón hosted the first final stage of the round in the Principality, in a stage that began in Santander and ended in Villa de Jovellanos after 194 kilometers. Mariano Cañardo prevailed in it.
The second city to which the Vuelta arrived was Oviedo, in 1941, in the first edition after the Civil War. It was a 53-kilometer time trial starting in Gijón that was won by Delio Rodríguez, who also won the next 129-kilometer stage between Oviedo and Luarca, also achieving twelve victories in that edition.
Gijón is the one that most times hosted a goal of the Vuelta a España, on 25 occasions, followed by the Lakes of Covadonga, with 22; the Alto del Naranco, with 14, the Angliru, 8 and Pajares, with 6.
Regarding the starts, Gijón is also the one that more times, 27, hosted the start of a stage of the Spanish round. They are followed by Oviedo, with 21; Cangas de Onís, with 20, and Avilés, with 6. It is also the case that the Vuelta a España started four times in Asturias, all of them in Gijón, in the 1960, 1963, 1978 and 2003 editions, the latter with a team time trial in which the ONCE team won.
With the two arrivals this year, the Principality has been the scene of a total of 108 stage finals, of which more than half, 62, were aloft. The first of them in the 1965 edition, in the Puerto de Pajares, in a time trial stage that began in Mieres and in which Poulidor prevailed.
Since 2008, all the stage finishes in the Principality have been high, with the exception of the 2017 edition, arriving in Gijón and the 2019 edition, which ended in Uría de Oviedo street. In 2008, the finals were at Angliru and Fuentes de Invierno; in 2010, the arrivals were in the lakes of Covadonga and Coto Bello; in 2011, in La Farrapona and Angliru; in 2012, Los Lagos and Cuitunigru; in 2013, Naranco and Angliru; in 2014, Los Lagos and La Farrapona; in 2015, Sotres and the Hermitage of Alba; with Naranco and Los Lagos in the 2016 edition, while in 2017 Gijón and Alto del Angliru were the Asturian goals. In 2018, Les Praeres and Lagos: in 2019, Oviedo, La Cubilla and El Acebo, while in the last edition the goals were in La Farrapona and El Angliru.