Popular Cycling Competitions

Tour de France

The Tour de France is the largest annual event in the world of cycling, with almost 200 runners and covering 3,300 km in their 21 races, and with international broadcasts reaching millions of people in real-time.

The first Tour was opened at 3: 16 pm on July 1, 1903. After a great publicity effort by the local newspaper “”L’auto,”” it aimed to create a race of cyclists who would travel the best French landscapes, and earn a permanent place in the heart of their compatriots (and on the way to expand their audience for the newspaper). Normally, the Tour takes place within the French territory, but occasionally visits its neighbors: Andorra, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland (all of them have hosted some other part of the tour, or even a complete Stage), these escapes to neighboring countries are known as Grand Départs.

People usually refer to the Tour de France as “”The Tour”” or “”Tours,”” and is the second of the Grand World Tours in the calendar of the World Tour. This tour is the oldest and is considered the most prestigious. You probably have friends who don’t share our passion for bicycles, but it would cost you to meet someone who hasn’t heard of the Tour.

The location of their stages changes every year, but the format remains the same; a balanced combination of mountain climbs, flat sprints, and team and individual time frames. Since 1975, a last ceremonial race was added to celebrate the closing ceremony at the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

La Vuelta a España

This year the Cycling Tour of Spain (La Vuelta a España) arrives in Toledo, which for the ninth time in its history that will host a final stage. The goal, uphill, will be located next to the Angel of the Alcázar, very close to the House of Federico Martín Bahamontes, the eternal champion of 91 years to whom the great national race pays homage. The City Council of Toledo has made a great effort in logistics to be able to locate the arrival tape in such a complicated place. Only twice the goal has been located in the historic center.

Reviewing the history of the lap, it held its first edition in 1935, but it was not until 23 years later that it landed in the Imperial City for the first time. On May 7, 1958 (the lap was driven during the spring) the eighth stage between Cuenca and Toledo was played, with the victory of the Frenchman Jean Stablinski, who, also, won the general classification.

A year later, the Toledo capital repeated arrival. It was in the first stage, starting in Madrid, and defeated the great Belgian sprinter Rick Van Looy. The general would be for the Spaniard Antonio Suárez. This 1959 Bahamontes win the Tour de France.

Meanwhile, Toledo had to wait 15 years to see the return to Spain again. On April 30, 1974, the seventh stage started from Ciudad Real, and the cyclists had to face a goal located in the Alcázar. Quite a novelty, since until then the end was located on the Paseo de la Vega and nearby. That day the great Sunday “”Txomín”” Perurena was imposed, and the general would be for the unforgettable Asturian climber José Manuel Fuente, the “”Tarangu.””

After 14 years of hiatus, the multicolor snake again stopped in Toledo on the 11th of May 1988, in a décimosexta stage that he had set out from Albacete, Spain, and end at Plaza de Zocodover. British Malcolm Elliott prevailed, while Irish Sean Kelly took the general.

On April 30 of the following year, there was also the end of the stage, the seventh, in the capital of Castilla-La Mancha. The Italian Massimo Ghirotto was the first to cross the finish line of a race that had begun in Ávila. Segovian Pedro “”Perico”” Delgado was the final winner. In these two editions, there was a character that caught the attention of the fans: it was the never-deferential journalist José María García, who followed the race accompanied by a big live radio operation.

Finally, it was necessary to wait 19 years for Toledo to be, again, the goal of the Cycling Tour to Spain. He did so in three consecutive editions, in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In the first stage, the sixth stage, with a departure in Ciudad Real on September 4, won the Italian world champion, Paolo Bettini. The general was Alberto Contador.