La Vuelta a Espania
Cycling in Spain
Vuelta Dispatch #2: Lagos de Covadongo, Cadel, y Cerveza
We got to sleep in a little today as the property we have been staying in is actually on the route of the Vuelta’s Stage 15. Being only day 2 for us, we couldn’t justify a recuperation day just yet,and chose to hop on the course and ride the circuit to the mountain top finish of Lagos de Covadongo.
Sunday morning in Spain offers ideal riding with really quiet roads, even only a couple of hours ahead of the race. The roads were a beautiful surface and the route along the Asturias coast was magnificent, affording postcard views on every corner.
Chatting to a local on our first climb of the day, he warned me of a good chance of thunderstorms by mid afternoon. During an early lunch there was talk among a couple of un-named guests of staying at the base of the final climb rather than tackling the 15k beast of Lagos de Covadongo.
Peer pressure won the day (as always) and it was a full troop that departed after a replenishing lunch. It wasn’t long for the first drops of rain to fall and our mini peloton began to split. The rain hesitated a little and there was a little regrouping however the biggest group was forming at a bar mid-climb. I pushed on a little but my softness got the better of me and I thought I should join the troops back at the “midway bar” (out of solidarity, more than anything else).
I think the locals thought the Aussies were training up for the Oktoberfest but they had no idea, since the behavior ranked between excellent to marginal at worst.
The break of 4 riders came by and with OGE’s Simon Clark in the mix, the boys gave him a huge welcome. Next was the GC bunch, containing all of the usual suspects and being led by 5 of Valverde’s teammates. Cadel was a few groups back but in front of the piano group. Consensus amongst our guests over their comforting pints of cerveza was that he is here to stretch out his career and is not far from announcing his retirement.
A great day and dinner in a local restaurant in the fishing village of Lastres made a fitting end to yet another blissful day in the north west of Spain
Written by Phil Anderson