The Tour 22 has starred in a spectacular stage through the roads of the province of Almeria with the finish line in the surroundings of the Church of Las Salinas in Cabo de Gata. Australian Kaden Groves (BikeExchange) was proclaimed winner of the race in an exciting and tight sprint with which cycling fans around the world have enjoyed the essence of this sport. Remco Evenepoel (BEL/Quick Step – Alpha Vinyl) remains in the red jersey 2 minutes and 41 seconds ahead of Primoz Roglic (SLO-Jumbo-Visma).
Stage 11 of La Vuelta, with a total distance of 191.2 km, started this morning from ElPozo Alimentación in Alhama de Murcia and, after just over 50 km, entered the province of Almería with a total of 133.7 km passing through Pulpí, Villaricos (Cuevas del Almanzora), Vera, Garrucha, Mojácar, Carboneras, Níjar (Agua Amarga, Rodalquilar, Ruescas? ), finishing in Cabo de Gata, in the municipality of Almería.
The finish line and the presentation of trophies were attended by the president of the Diputación de Almería, Javier A. García and the acting mayoress of the city of Almería, María Vázquez, who supported the winner of the stage on the podium and were accompanied by the provincial deputies Fernando Giménez, José Antonio García and María Luisa Cruz, and by the councillor for Sports of Almería, Juanjo Segura, among other authorities.
The president stressed that “today all international cycling enthusiasts have discovered the beauty of our landscapes and roads and that the destination ‘Costa de Almería’ is one of the best places in the world in which to enjoy cycling at any time of the year. We strengthen the binomial sport – tourism in the province as a key axis for the tourism sector and the creation of wealth and employment,” and stressed that the caravan of La Vuelta, consisting of more than 3,000 people, has stayed overnight in hotels in the province with a significant impact on the economy of Almeria.
On the other hand, the president recalled that the Provincial Institution has redoubled its commitment to La Vuelta and cycling in the last two years and that this “has allowed us to show more than 190 countries and an audience of millions of people that ‘Costa de Almería’ has spectacular mountain passes, like the one we experienced last year with the Alto de Velefique, or flat stretches bathed by the Mediterranean Sea like the one we have enjoyed today. Costa de Almería is a destination of contrasts where we can enjoy the four seasons of the year on the same day”.
For her part, the acting Mayoress of Almeria said that “the arrival of the cyclists flanked by our iconic Church of Las Salinas de Cabo de Gata has allowed us to project around the world this coastal district of Almeria, located in the middle of a natural park and that Almeria is a privileged place to host any sporting event of the highest level”.
María Vázquez adds that “if this jewel in the crown was already known for its beauty, its uncrowded beaches, its local gastronomy and, in short, for being the ideal destination for slow tourism, thanks to La Vuelta it has increased its international notoriety without losing its essence”. And she concludes: “from Almería City Council we never tire of reiterating that our city is an ideal destination for outdoor sport, and this stage is a good example, like La Desértica or the Titan Series”.
A relationship full of history with La Vuelta and Almería
Stage 11 of La Vuelta 22 was the 18th stage in the history of this competition to finish in the province of Almería. The first time was in 1936: Granada > Almería, with victory for Gustaaf Deloor. The last finish took place last year and was the most spectacular of that edition: Puerto Lumbreras > Alto de Velefique. Damiano Caruso won. In addition, last year another stage started in Roquetas de Mar, in the area of the urbanisation. The province, specifically Almería capital, has also hosted two official starts of La Vuelta in 1971 and 1974.
Classification of stage 11
1- Kaden Groves (BikeExchange) 5 h. 3’14″”
2- Danny Van Poppel (Bora-Hansgrohe) same time
3- Tim Merlier (Alpecin – Deceuninck) same time
1- Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team)
2- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo – Visma) 2′ 41″ behind
3- Enric Mas (Movistar) 3′ 03″ behind