Race ar­rived in Va­len­cia re­gion on Wed­nes­day and Ben­i­tachell will host a key stage fin­ish on Sun­day

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE SPEC­TAC­U­LAR Vuelta Ci­clista a Es­paña race is cross­ing the Va­len­cia re­gion with a key stage fin­ish in Ben­i­tachell on Sun­day.

La Vuelta started last Satur­day, Au­gust 19, in Nimes (France), and will end in Madrid on Septem­ber 10 - af­ter cov­er­ing 3,324 kilo­me­tres.

Wed­nes­day saw the race ar­rive in the re­gion with a stage be­tween Benicàs­sim and Al­cosse­bre won by Alexey Lut­senko.

Yes­ter­day (Thurs­day), the pelotón raced from Vil­lar­real to Sa­gunto and today it leaves Llíria to fin­ish in Cuenca.

But the pelotón will re­turn Ali­cante prov­ince to­mor­row with the stage start­ing in Hel­lín (Al­bacete) and end­ing at the Xor­ret del Catí climb in Castalla.

The ninth stage of the fa­mous cy­cle race de­parts from Playa La Glea in Ori­huela Costa on Sun­day.

Leav­ing Tor­re­vieja, the cy­clists will fol­low the N-332 to Ali­cante city, only de­vi­at­ing from the main road at La Ma­rina vil­lage, where the cy­clists will travel along Avenida La Ale­gría (N-332a) and El Al­tet, where once again they will pick up the N-332a (Avenida de Carta­gena), thereby miss­ing the tun­nel on the main road.

The race will then re­turn to the main N-332 past Ali­cante and through San Juan (ETA 14.45-14.55), Cam­pello (14.50- 15.00), Vil­la­joyosa (15.15-15.30) and Benidorm (15.25-15-40).

In Benidorm, the race will leave the N-332 to go along Poniente prom­e­nade and Avenidas Jaume I, Al­fonso Puchades and Co­mu­nidad Va­len­ciana be­fore re­turn­ing to the N-332.

The race will cross Al­tea (15.45-16.00) and Calpe (16.0016.20), then take the coast road CV756 through Fustera, Mo­raira (16.20-16.40) and cross the Puig de Llorença peak in Ben­i­tachell for the first time (16.3016.50).

Then the race will de­cend back to Ben­i­tachell, cross Teu­lada, Gata and Jávea (CV-742, ETA 17.05-17.30) be­fore head­ing back to the fin­ish­ing line on the Cum­bre del Sol be­tween 17.30 and 18.00.

Around 50,000 vis­i­tors are ex­pected at the fin­ish point.

Park­ing in Ben­i­tachell

Ben­i­tachell town hall ad­vised res­i­dents on their web­site to ex­pect road clo­sures through­out the day.

When the Lo­cal Po­lice were asked about re­stric­tions, they said they had not yet been given any tim­ings.

The race is due to reach Calpe at around 16.15, so most roads be­tween there and Mo­raira will be closed early in the af­ter­noon.

A map show­ing where spec­ta­tors for La Vuelta, whose stage fin­ishes at the Cum­bre del Sol, near Mo­raira, on Sun- day caused mild up­roar among res­i­dents last week when it was pub­lished.

Over 3,000 leaflets were distributed to tourist of­fices, but none were given to the be­mused res­i­dents, who found the map on so­cial me­dia.

Pub­lic park­ing has been al­lo­cated to res­i­den­tial ar­eas, but home­own­ers had nei­ther been asked nor in­formed.

The map clearly shows that pub­lic park­ing is in streets lo­cated ad­ja­cent to the route, but res­i­dents will face the ex­as­per­a­tion of cars park­ing across their drive­ways, and be­ing un­able to leave their homes dur­ing the day.

Road clo­sures will also be tak­ing place re­strict­ing en­try and exit to the Cum­bre del Sol, but again, res­i­dents have not been in­formed of the tim­ings.

By­pass­ing Tor­re­vieja for se­cu­rity rea­sons

Sun­day's stage will not go through the cen­tre of Tor­re­vieja on Sun­day due to se­cu­rity wor­ries.

Mayor José Manuel Dolón an­nounced on Mon­day that there were not enough po­lice of­fi­cers avail­able to guar­an­tee safety so the cy­clists would pass along the N-332 road in­stead.

“We think that this is the best op­tion,” he said.

“It means that ar­eas which see a great in­flux of tourists and res­i­dents, such as the beaches, prom­e­nades and other ar­eas, will not be left unat­tended.”

Sr Dolón said the re­cent ter­ror­ist out­rage in Cataluña ‘showed that this was the right thing to do’.

The mayor ex­plained that he had held a meet­ing with emer­gency ser­vices chiefs last Fri­day in the wake of the ter­ror­ist at­tacks when the dra­matic short­age of of­fi­cers avail­able in the Lo­cal Po­lice force had been laid bare.

The Lo­cal Po­lice chief had stated that there would only be 23 of­fi­cers avail­able to cover the event in Tor­re­vieja, which was ‘way short’ of the to­tal of 53 that had orig­i­nally been cal­cu­lated as the min­i­mum.

They had not been guar­an­teed Guardia Civil re­in­force­ments to make up the short­fall.

Ori­huela town hall an­nounced this week that park­ing has been banned on cer­tain streets,

Bri­tain’s Chris Froome took the red jersey on Mon­day in the third stage of the race which fin­ished in An­dorra La Vella.

The Sky cy­clist ex­pressed sur­prise that he had been able to take the lead at this early stage of the race.

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