The taunting of the Vuelta Asturias to Gijón: “Those who govern complained…”

The taunting of the Vuelta Asturias to Gijón: “Those who govern complained…”
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The end of the Vuelta a Asturias is for Cristina Álvarez, “Mendo”, the beginning of the next one, 2025, which will also be very special. And the Asturian round is going to celebrate one hundred years since it was held for the first time, a centenary that, above anything else, wants to be able to be followed on television.

–What assessment do you make of the edition that has just concluded?

–The balance is extremely positive. We have had a winner, Isaac del Toro, with a very good projection, one of the great names in cycling today. That the UAE Team Emirates team wants to come is a success. I’ve been insisting to (Joxean Fernández) Matxín for years, but until now it didn’t fit him and this year it did fit them. They have noticed that the winners of the last editions later do well in the Giro. It is a short and hard test, good preparation. What gratifies me most is that Matxín told me that he was pleasantly surprised by the image, the security and the setup. They care a lot about safety and after what happened in Itxulia (a serious fall left the favorites out) the organizers had a psychosis. What happened there is inevitable, like in this edition when arriving in Cangas de Onís a tree fell, which is something you cannot control, but safety matters a lot and in that we have the infrastructure that Unipublic gives us.

–Can this participation be improved even more?

–It’s the whiting that bites its tail. We have security, equipment, good roads…, but we lack television. It is key for the teams to come because the sponsors want television, so that we can place it on Teledeporte and Eurosport. Many teams rule out coming because there is no TV.

–What is needed for there to be television?

–A bet from someone, who I understand should be from the Government of the Principality. I have to say that it is the first year that we have a very good understanding with the Government. The president has received us and treated us with great affection, we talked about the centenary and there is a good understanding with Gimena Llamedo, who is seeing the possibilities of the Vuelta as the heritage of Asturias. There are 66 editions, but we are going to celebrate one hundred years, we all know that if it disappears for a year it is almost impossible to return. And we have many years now.

–How would you like this centenary to be?

–Let many things be done throughout the year. Not only in November, which was the date of the first edition, nor in April, which is when it is celebrated. We would like the Vuelta to have one more day, something we had requested, but which the UCI did not grant us. We hope to be able to have a waiver by 2025 to do a fourth stage.

–Where do you want this fourth stage to be?


–We would like to return to the West, there are areas like Castropol or Vegadeo forgotten by cycling, but for all that the city councils have to help. Our financing comes from the regional government, from the municipalities of departure and arrival, and from sponsors, both economic and exchange, which are essential.

–It does not mention Gijón.

–We were in contact with them, with the PP, when they were in the opposition and they said how was it possible that the Vuelta did not return to Gijón. Now that they are in the municipal government, we spoke with them again, they told us that they would look at it and that is until now. We want to return and we should return, furthermore, we are like the little brother of the Vuelta a España, which went to El Acebo or Ribera de Arriba. We all want the Vuelta a España, but we have to believe in cycling like Lena and Oviedo do, who do not hesitate.

–Are you happy that there are more and more Asturians in the professional peloton and in the Vuelta?

–I am very excited that they come, it is a tradition of my father, who always invited them when there were Asturian cyclists. Pérez-Landaluce called me and told me that a Moroccan team would sign him if they came to the Vuelta, we invited him and he has behaved like a wild boar (he won the flying goals sponsored by LA NUEVA ESPAÑA). It is a great satisfaction. Go up El Violeo and see the entire floor painted with messages of encouragement to Sinuhé Fernández… If it moves me, I don’t want to think about him. Seeing Pelayo Sánchez’s mother, who was in tears when we gave her a prize for the stage she won last year, is a source of pride. Also let Del Toro win so it means that someone like him stands out here.

–And what does it mean?

–We had the UAE, the Madrid of cycling. It’s a source of pride, although you also feel pressured by what those teams bring with them, eleven technicians, seven vehicles… That a guy like Matxín, who doesn’t marry anyone, congratulates you is a source of pride. Del Toro joins people like Nairo Quintana or Richard Carapaz, great cyclists who have won the Vuelta Asturias.

–How would you like next year’s edition to be?

–That it was four days and above all that it was broadcast on live television. If I had to skip the fourth day because of live television, I would do it. That is 150,000 euros and we have to have it in advance. If you have television, you opt for important teams such as Jumbo Visma-Lease a Bike to come and that serves to give a better image of Asturias. Live television is essential.



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