MADRID, Aug. 16 (.) –
The director of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén, hopes that the race will be decided in the “great stage of the ports of Madrid” because everything is “planned” for that day, in which it will be a “very emotional” Vuelta as it is the last one that Alejandro Valverde will run, and in which he hopes not to have to take extraordinary measures due to high temperatures.
“It is a Vuelta that is going to be present in the four cardinal points of the national territory and it is a Vuelta that is going to go from less to more and hopefully everything will be decided in the great stage of the ports of Madrid because everything is planned so that that is the day, not before, in which they tell us who is the winner of La Vuelta”, explained Guillén in an interview with Europa Press.
The director of the Spanish round highlighted that La Vuelta has a start from the Netherlands, in Utrecht, something that “is not usual” because it is a “terrain for runners and nervous roads” and foresees that there will be “plenty of race stress “. “It’s a Vuelta that makes many discoveries in addition to Asturias, Malaga or Extremadura,” he added.
After three stages outside of Spain, the race will then travel to Vitoria, where the fourth stage will begin. “It’s going to be a first week that I think is very spicy, quite hard compared to others,” predicted the race director.
“IT WILL BE A VERY EMOTIONAL ROUND”
The 2022 Vuelta “is going to be very emotional”, in the words of Guillén, because it will be the last for a Spanish cycling legend like Alejandro Valverde, who is living his last year as a professional. “The truth is that it is hard for me to talk about Alejandro’s retirement, because he is a rider who has given us so much and gives us so much that, to think that next year he will not be in the peloton, it is hard for you” , he confessed.
“It will be a Vuelta, I hope, beautiful for him, exciting, emotional for all the fans and from then on, beyond the tributes, what I hope and wish is that we can pay tribute to him in the Madrid stage because until then he will be disputing the race and giving us the victories to which we are accustomed”, he pointed out.
It will also be special for other cyclists, such as Primoz Roglic, winner of the last three editions, or Vincenzo Nibali, who will also retire after the race, who, according to his director, “what he wants is for the best to come” despite the resignation of one of the great cyclists of the moment, Tadej Pogacar.
Javier Guillén affirmed that Primoz Roglic is today one of the best stage runners that exist and that, if “thanks to his talent” he wins the race, “he would culminate a feat that is to win the Vuelta Ciclista a España four times in a row “. “What I want is the best, emotion, competition, for everything to be decided in the end. Who wins, the peloton will tell us that,” he declared.
Regarding Spanish cycling, what he asks for is “patience” because the problem detected by the director of La Vuelta is that the public is not used to it. “It’s that we came from winning absolutely everything. Today with the globalization of cycling, more countries have joined in competition and as a result we have more runners, and, it must be said, what runners, because we are also assisting one of the best generations of the history of cycling,” he said.
“We would like to continue having people who fight up there, we don’t have to dramatize either, I think we also have to thank runners like Enric Más or Mikel Landa who are always there with aspirations in all the races they compete in and we will see how Carlos behaves Rodríguez or Ayuso. Of course, we would like the situation to be different, but we do not see concern, much less drama, “he settled.
“WE HAVE TAKEN NOTE OF WHAT HAS BEEN DONE ON THE TOUR WITH THE HEAT”
In the race, the high temperatures could be a weight factor, after a summer in which many fires are also taking place in the country. “According to what everyone says, these are issues and effects of climate change and that is why we must have even more commitment if possible. I hope and wish that we do not have such high temperatures, but beyond the talent, the effort and what we runners can offer, the organization controls everything except the weather conditions,” he explained.
“If necessary, we will be attentive to any measure that allows us to develop the race. We have taken very good note of what has been done in the Tour de France beyond the fact that there are also climate protocols in case we had to take any measure that I I hope and wish that it is not necessary”, added Guillén.
This Vuelta 2022 is reached after a highly praised Tour de France that ended up being carried by Jonas Vingegaard and that the director of the Spanish round “seemed incredible”. “I think that cycling has to be very happy with this edition of the Tour de France. We have seen an absolutely epic Tour, disputed, all the stages have had something,” he assured.
Javier Guillén explains that “in Spain there are two great races, the Tour de France and La Vuelta Ciclista a España” and that “the better the Tour does, the better La Vuelta will do” because “cycling calls for cycling”. “That puts us in a great position from the public interest point of view, because after this Tour what people want is to continue watching cycling,” he argued.
This edition of La Vuelta also continues to focus on sustainability, one of the reference signs of the race, as is the case with the commitment between La Vuelta and Ecovidrio to reduce the waste left by the race. “It is something very important. Ecovidrio is a very active partner, which helps us a lot to carry out environmental policies that year after year allows us to improve everything that our actions are based on sustainability”, he highlighted.