With the exciting and historic images still recent of the Tour de France gutters packed with almost a million Biscayans and visitors during the Grand Departure from Bilbao, the Getxo Circuit encourages us to keep that passion alive during the 78th edition of the great Biscayan classic. In a way, it will be like reliving the recent passage of the Grande Boucle. The race will be held on July 30, Sunday, starting (12:00 pm) from the Guggenheim and finishing on the Arkotxa slope (around 4:30 pm) after going through the ramps of Pike Bidea, which was the key point of the initial stage of the Tour. On this occasion, and to increase the spectacle, the runners will climb the already famous slope that starts in Sondika twice.
It was the Circuit that first marked the way to the French test. The getxotarra test discovered Pike. The Tour took note. Snapshots of a crowd of fans cheering on that level have gone around the world. In just two weeks, cycling fans will once again be able to enjoy top-level competition on the same stage. There will be seven laps of the traditional circuit, passing through Txomintxu (Ereaga). Of those seven turns, two – the third from last and the last – will include the ascent of Pike. This double portion will be seen in the front row by a legend of the Basque peloton, Julián Gorospe, who will be the honorary director of the race.
The event, organized by the Punta Galea Cycling Society and with the support of EL CORREO, continues to grow. Seven World Tour squads will be at the starting line: UAE, Trek-Lidl, Cofidis, Movistar, Bora, Astana and Total Energies, to which teams such as Euskaltel-Euskadi, Caja Rural, Kern Pharma and the Burgos BH. And there is still an open door for the presence of Pello Bilbao and Mikel Landa’s Bahrain. Pre-registered include Ulissi, Hirschi, Ciccone, Lafay (winner of the Vitoria-San Sebastián stage of the Tour), Ciccone, Barrenetxea, Schachmann, Vlasov… Juan Ayuso is not ruled out, who inaugurated his professional record last year in this proof that, like every year, it also serves as a memory for the Otxoa brothers, Javier and Ricardo, and that it will be broadcast on ETB.
Congratulations to Pello Bilbao
Mikel Guinea and Joseba Arrizabalaga, managers of the Getxo Circuit, took advantage of the presentation of the 193-kilometre route to send a “congratulations” on their victory in the Tour to Pello Bilbao, “which is closely linked to the Punta Galea Cycling Society”. . They also insisted that the Grande Boucle’s visit to the Basque Country is a unique opportunity to “get hooked on this sport” so deeply rooted among Basque fans. “Our circuit is the one that the Tour chose to start its career,” Guinea recalled.
Despite the fact that the International Cycling Union (UCI) has for now rejected the promotion of the Getxo Circuit, the organizers will insist. There is an obstacle: the Spanish calendar already has, according to the UCI regulations, the percentage of tests allowed in the ProSeries category. It would take more lower level races to be created for the classic from Biscay to make the leap. Even so, the Punta Galea Cycling Society will resubmit the application. Due to its entity, organizational capacity, history and sporting level, it deserves to be at the level of events such as the Clásica de Estella-GP Miguel Induráin.
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