This is the third time the Vuelta has started in Benidorm, the previous one being in 1987, when Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke beat Sean Kelly in a prologue time trial. This year’s team time trial is about the same length as last year’s equivalent test in Sevilla that was won by HTC, although this one finishes just before sunset rather than beginning just after. The technical course starts at the beach and rises quite quickly during the opening 3.5km before twisting back down towards the sea again. Given their exceptional quality in this kind of test, HTC-Highroad will be heavily tipped to win here.
Vuelta flashback 1964, The one grand tour that Raymond Poulidor won
When it first hosted the start of the Vuelta in 1964, Benidorm was in the early stages of its development. Decades away from becoming one of Europe’s biggest resorts that now boasts the highest number of high-rise buildings per capita in the world, it was a rather insigni icant coastal village with some building sites aorund its fringes. The 1964 race started with a stage victory for Belgium’s Edouard Sels in the Mediterranean resort and ended in Madrid with a second French winner in a row as Raymond Poulidor succeeded Jacques Anquetil to claim his sole grand tour triumph.
Highest point: 138m
Category: Team time trial
Javier Guillén says...
"The race starts a week earlier this year, when everyone in Spain will be on the beach. So we decided to take the race to one of the best beaches in the world. The start ramp will actually be right on the sand, which will provide a great spectacle."
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.