21 Aug 2011

Quickly Speeding By

No, I don't mean the summer, although that is flying by real fast. I'm referring to a bunch of crazy people who went zipping down my street at lunchtime today! :p

"La Vuelta", Spain's major cycling race, started yesterday.  Think "Tour de France", but in Spain. It's the last of the "big three" cycling races that take place during the summer, the first being the "Giro" (in Italy) in May. An arduous month-long race around the country. Starts in different spots around the country depending on the year, always ends in Madrid (just like the "Tour" ends in Paris and the "Giro" in Rome).

This year, the "Vuelta" started out in Benidorm, with a "contrareloj" (against the clock, so a timed race on a city circuit) around the city's streets. Then this morning they headed out from a spot just outside of Benidorm, headed up into the mountains and then back down to the coast, and pretty much zipped through Alicante in a matter of minutes! 

The official itinerary said they were supposed to be at the Playa de San Juan at approximately 14h50. From there the itinerary had them crossing through my neighbourhood (right at my back doorstep!), then along the coastal road that goes all around the Bay of Alicante. 

I'm not at all a cycling fan, but when an event like this lands at your doorstep, then one should definitely participate! ;o) So my dad and I headed down to the avenue behind the appartment building and waited for them to zip by. 

smart spectators waiting in the shade

And waited. And saw police cars and motorcycles. And waited. And saw publicity vans. And waited. We went down at 14h50 because we didn't want to risk on missing out. I figured they'd show around 15h10. Pretty close! At approx 15h13 the lead cyclists just zipped past us.

Followed by more service cars than cyclists! :p

And about 6' later the rest of the pack. Seeing that many at once was a bit more impressive.

And then again plenty of service cars... those guys sure do have a lot of extra bikes! :D

All in all 30' of baking in the glaring sun and African heatwave, for 30s of excitement. Was pretty fun! ;o)

Here's a little video I put together of the clips I took:


  1. Cool, Cris! It looks a lot like the Tour de France only in Spanish! :-)

  2. Yup! You've got it DJan, JUST like the Tour de France!
    But I think the poor fellows needed to start a week later... I pity them in the middle of this damn Saharan heat wave we're suffering through! :s

  3. Great pictures! I would have definitely been out there to see something like that in my neighborhood. It seems the Spain isn't the only one in a heat wave. It's been over 100 (Fahrenheit, so about 37 or 38 Celsius) here for most of the summer. Needless to say we've been avoiding the great outdoors. I can't imagine cycling in that kind of heat! I imagine there was a lot of concern about staying hydrated!


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