Alicante is once again hosting a key stage of the La Vuelta cycling race. In 2021, the province was the setting for two stages of the race – one of international cycling’s top three road competitions, together with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.
This year there will be a rest day in Alicante next Monday (29 August), followed the next day by a 30.9 individual time trial from Elche to Alicante. This will be the 10th stage of the race, which began in Utrecht (the Netherlands) on 19 August and concludes in Madrid on 11 September.
According to the organisers, “The peloton will fly from the Principality of Asturias to the province of Alicante to visit its two most populated cities in a decisive individual time trial for La Vuelta 22. The departure will be from Elche, a locality that has been awaiting La Vuelta’s return for 27 years, and which acquired a special importance during Roman times. However, the city’s emblem dates back even earlier than that. With a history of 2,500 years under its belt, the Dama de Elche is one of the most important pieces of Iberian art and is the symbol of a city that played a key role in the history of Spain.
“Over time, Alicante has become a cycling epicentre for many of the cycling teams and will, once again, be part of La Vuelta. The ‘Terreta’, as it is commonly known, is a training area for both male and female WorldTour riders, where cycling is ever-present in day-to-day life. This commitment to cycling has even affected mobility within the capital itself, featuring several kilometres of bike lanes and different routes with which to discover the city on two wheels. The provincial council of Alicante celebrates the second centenary of its creation with a new stage (the sixth in its La Vuelta history).”
Painting the Town Red
Another popular event is being held further up the coast later in the month. Described as “the most famous tomato battle in the world”, La Tomatina takes over the streets of Buñol (in neighbouring Valencia province, about 195 kilometres north of Alicante) on 31 August.
An estimated 40,000 people are expected to swell the town’s population of 9,000, and paint it red as they hurl 150,000 kilograms of tomatoes at each other.