La Vuelta tea the power

The Vuelta has the power, Barcelona is powerful and cycling is living a prodigious era.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
24 August 2023 Thursday 11:02
4 Reads
La Vuelta tea the power

The Vuelta has the power, Barcelona is powerful and cycling is living a prodigious era. What was experienced in Barceloneta with the presentation of the teams, with the beach in the background and the skyline of the W Hotel on one side and the Arts Hotel on the other, is only a preview of what will be seen on the streets at the weekend. From Bilbao, Grand Départ of the Tour on July 1st, the token of the world capital of cycling passed to Glasgow, home of the World Cups, and now arrives in Barcelona, ​​starting point of the best Vuelta a España in memory.

Three of the five cyclists who have made the bicycle shine this 2023 are presented in Barcelona as great attractions and favourites. Vingegaard, Roglic and Evenepoel are there, and only Pogacar and Van der Poel, brand new world champion, are missing. But perhaps with the participation of Juan Ayuso, Enric Mas, Geraint Thomas, Bernal, João Almeida, Vlasov, Buchman, Higuita, Bardet, Caruso, Mikel Landa, Dunbar or Carthy we will not miss them.

Tomorrow, from the beach to the mountain of Montjuïc with the first day's team time trial, and online, with a demanding finish, on Sunday, the beauty of Barcelona's monuments will be the ideal setting for a race of many carats. It is not lost on anyone that a public success and repercussion can mean the definitive step for the City Council and ASO, owner of the Tour de France, to dare to make a departure from the most important test.

"We must thank a city as big and world-renowned as Barcelona for having paralyzed the center for almost two days so that the Vuelta a España could start here", thanked Enric Mas, the ace of Movistar. "Both stages are very beautiful and can be spectacular. We hope that the rain does not condition and respect", wishes the Balearic, three times second, anxious for results after the fall in the first stage of the Tour.

"There is a spectacular turnout that has not been seen in a long time", seconded Juan Ayuso, 20 years old, third in 2022, young man who does not cut corners. "Winning would be a pass, something I've always dreamed of. Last year's podium gives reason to dream. With this year's participation it is difficult, but we are working for it", says the cyclist from the UAE, who will also be looking for his first stage win in a big one.

Those who know perfectly well what it is to win stages, dominate the best races and climb to the top of the podiums are the two leaders of the Jumbo-Visma. Jonas Vingegaard was the last to climb the ramp towards the presentation stage. But the winner of the last two Tours does not come from tourism or hide behind Primoz Roglic, winner of the Giro in June and who already has three Vueltas to his credit. "It would be spectacular if we finished first and second. We have two leaders and obviously the goal is to win the red jersey", proclaims Vingegaard. "The team would be delighted", points out Roglic. "Even Sepp Kuss could win", says the Slovenian about the great climber from the United States that they have as a gregarious, present at all the team's successes.

"Vingegaard knows how he can win the Tour twice, so he probably knows how he can also win the Vuelta", favors him Remco Evenepoel (Soudal), new time trial world champion and who defends the red jersey he won in 2022 .

"For the Vuelta it is a dream to leave Barcelona", confirms Javier Guillén, director of the Vuelta. "It will be a very fun race", he promises. Cyclists are aware that winning in Barcelona is different, it is a special triumph, a catapult. The last two winners here in a grand tour were later proclaimed world champions. In the 2009 Tour, the victory went to the Norwegian Hushvod, who the following year wore the jersey with the colors of the rainbow. In the 2012 Vuelta, the Belgian Gilbert won in Montjuïc, and less than a month later he won the World Cup in Valkenburg. It is the power of Barcelona.