The Vuelta a España 2019 started last Saturday in Torrevieja with a team time trial. After touring the spectacular landscapes of the Costa Blanca through Benidorm, Calpe, Alicante, Cullera and El Puig, among other cities, the fifth stage has begun in La Eliana, a small town in Valencia that has experienced for the first time the start of La Vuelta. Spain Life Exclusive has been there and tells you how this wonderful international cycling party has been.
The fourth stage of La Vuelta started yesterday in Cullera and ended at El Puig. The Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was the winner of this stage, although the Irish Nicolas Roche is still the leader in the general classification. La Eliana woke up today at 8:00 to welcome the cycling teams under an overwhelming sun after the cold front of the beginning of the week. The streets have been filled with neighbours who did not want to miss this unprecedented departure from La Vuelta, and they have lived this magnificent event with joy and enthusiasm.
La Eliana welcomes the start of La Vuelta for the first time
But the real party would begin at 10:30 with the deployment of the leisure area located on the Cortes Valencianas Avenue. Everyone present has been able to interact with cyclists, observe their amazing bicycles, participate in various sports activities and receive gifts from sponsors. Breakfasts, bananas and backpacks were distributed to thousands. Thus, the streets of La Eliana have been filled with fans, buses and cars loaded with bicycles to celebrate a beautiful sports party in which everyone wanted to participate. And it has been so spectacular!
All morning has been enlivened by the speaker of La Vuelta, Juan Mari Guajardo. This human encyclopaedia of cycling was the host that presented each cyclist when they took the stage to perform the classic control signature . Alejandro Valverde, the great champion of Spanish cycling, was the athlete who received the best reception from the public. Like most cyclists, Valverde was excited about this sunny day, ideal for cycling and a stage as tough as today.
The Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana, second in the general classification, also received a warm welcome, as well as Óscar Cabedo, the only Valencian cyclist participating in this edition of La Vuelta. Cabedo was especially excited about the stage next Friday, since he will start in his hometown, Onda.
The first mountain stage of La Vuelta 2019
The fifth stage of La Vuelta covers a 170.7-kilometer route with unprecedented exit and finish line. Cyclists left La Eliana at 12:45 and will arrive between 17:20 and 18:00 at the Astrophysical Observatory of Javalambre (Teruel), the first high-rise of this edition. It is a hard, complicated and winding route with a second category mountain pass (the port of Alcublas) and another one of third category (Fuente de Rubielos) before arrive the difficult final stretch. In addition, the bunch will pass from an area 80 meters above sea level to almost 2,000 meters, an extreme change that could make a difference in the classification.
Among other locations, the fifth stage of La Vuelta will pass today through Puebla de Vallbona, Benisanó, Liria, Sacañet, Bejís, Barracas and Torás, as well as Venta del Aire, Los Villanuevas, Los Cerezos, Fuente de Gavilán and Arcos de Salinas before reach the final hard climb at the Astrophysical Observatory of Javalambre. You can follow this appointment with the best international cycling starting at 2:45 pm through Teledeporte, Eurosport and La 1.
The Tour will leave the Valencian Community next Friday, continuing north of the Iberian Peninsula, even reaching Andorra and France. For more information, please visit the official website of La Vuelta a España.