'VUELTA' CROSSES THE COSTA
Race arrived in Valencia region on Wednesday and Benitachell will host a key stage finish on Sunday
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.