La Vuelta a Espania
Cycling in Spain
Once again our planned ride for today was shortened a little to match a revised set of ambitions—mostly, the allure of beach activities. It’s a disadvantage when you have a hotel right on the water, at least when running a bike tour. I was up late re-routing the ride and discovered some suitable roads, quiet but not too hilly. We are approaching the last few days on tour and it can be expected that there is a little fatigue amongst the ranks.
After a lazy but fulfilling breakfast we headed off on our ride, which took us through some pretty rural areas. Like most days it sometimes seemed as if we were riding through a farmyard, with rural homes and farms spilling onto the road. You never really know what is going to meet you around the next corner, could be a goat, flock of geese, a donkey. Always gotta be prepared to grab a handful of brake.
We have seen some wonderful country during our tour, but there were murmurs of today being the favourite ride of the week, perhaps due to the minimal length (40k) and elevation gained (600m).
As it was a little overcast and having re-routed our ride to miss the race, our later afternoon activities steered us back to the beach bar, which was perfectly positioned to watch the finale of stage la Vuelta’s Stage 19 on the big screen while still having an ocean view. We witnessed Queensland’s Adam Hansen take the stage by escaping atop the final climb.
It was pretty exciting as he only won by 5 seconds before the sprinting peloton, led by German John Degenkolb. I recall a young Hansen kicking my arse 11 years ago in the Crocodile Trophy. He has matured into a talented helper within the Lotto Belisol team and today was his 2nd Grand Tour stage win, proving that he is capable of winning in his own right when not on the job for Andre Greipel.
Overall, it was another lazy day in Spain with some new-found mates doing a little riding and enjoying the Vuelta a España. Spain might be my new favourite cycling holiday destination.
Written by Phil Anderson