The 40th Vitoria Cycle Tour adds 250 participants

Departure from Mendizorroza of the 2019 edition of the Vitoria Cycle Tour. / RAFA GUTIERREZ

Given the high temperatures expected tomorrow in Álava, water and sunscreen supplies have been reinforced

Olga Jimenez

The heat wave will not prevent 250 cyclists from starting tomorrow in the 40th edition of the Vitoria cycling event, which had to be postponed due to “bureaucratic problems” on its initial date, June 26. Having corrected all the inconveniences and with a route that has been modified, somewhat longer than the previous one and with less unevenness, the requirement of the previous route will be maintained and it will circulate through a large part of the province of Álava. There will be a total of 217 kilometers with 2,677 meters of elevation gain. The departure will be at 8:00 am from Mendizorroza to head north of the province and approach the Ullíbarri-Gamboa reservoir, crossing the Llanada Alavesa with the Sierra de Elgea in the background until reaching Salvatierra. The Opakua pass (1,025 metres) will be the first significant gap. After descending through San Vicente de Arana, the next ascent will be to Santa Teodosia to descend to Maeztu and find the first aid station.

The difficulty will increase through the places of the Montaña Alavesa to reach the Izki natural park and circulate through Bernedo. Lagrán, Peñacerrada or Zambrana, which will be the previous steps to enter the historic Cuadrilla de Añana.

Another refreshment point will be the Ribaguda dolmen, a more than necessary hydration that will be increased by another five points along the route, as confirmed by the organization itself given the high temperatures that can exceed 40 degrees. Points with sun creams will also be set up to combat the punishment of the sun for so many hours on the bike. The Alto de la Tejera will be the last obstacle in unevenness to, from that point, head towards Nanclares de la Oca and after passing through Asteguieta, re-enter the capital of Alava ending the route at the starting point, the car park of Mendizorroza. It is estimated that the first to complete the 217 kilometers will arrive around 2:40 p.m., while the end time of the test will be after five in the afternoon.

14 provinces represented

Of the 250 participants, 137 come from Álava, 28 from Vizcaya, 19 from Guipúzcoa and 14 from Madrid. There will also be representatives from other provinces such as La Rioja, Navarra, Catalonia, Cantabria, Galicia, Aragon or Castilla-Léon, among others. 97.7% of those registered are men while the female presence is reduced to 2.3%.

The ultra-distance event is one of the pioneers that was born by the Vitorian Cycling Society and other clubs in 1961 under the name of ‘Test Ibisate’ in memory of its predecessor, Jesús Ibisate. From 1965 it took the current name, Vitoria Cycle Tour. The first tour was 250 kilometers long and until 2002 it was only organized on odd years. Since then, it has been held annually. In 2007 the layout changed towards a harder one with a greater demand passing through more mountainous areas with constant ascents that make the march harder. The heat of this 40th edition will be the biggest inconvenience for its participants.


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