This Wednesday the presentation ceremony for the arrival of the 42nd edition of the race was held at the Cartagena City Hall.
The event was attended by Noelia Arroyo, Mayor of the city, Diego Ortega, Councillor for Sports, Fran Sánchez, Director General of Sports, Gloria Abellán, Director of Banco Sabadell, and Paco Guzmán, Director of the Vuelta Ciclista a
la Región de Murcia.
Arroyo is delighted to welcome the race for the first time since 2003. She has highlighted the role of Cartagena as the epicentre of regional and European sporting activity, and recalled that it was in the city where the story of Miguel began, in 1986, when he achieved his first international victory in our race.
"This final will serve to put Cartagena in the spotlight, not only at a regional level, but also at an international level. regional, but also international. Thanks to Eurosport, we will be able to expose our city and all its charms all over the world".
Sánchez has also stressed the importance of this announcement, at a regional and international level. "Cartagena is not only a sea, a historical capital, a gastronomic capital... It is also capital of sport, at regional and European level, as it is the European Capital of Sport. La Vuelta is an event in which we put a great deal of passion, and in which we will have almost all the professional cyclists of the Región. Alejandro Valverde, Antonio Jesús Soto, Rubén Fernández, Miguel Ángel Ballesteros and Jose María Soriano will be taking part in the race on 12 February".
Guzmán has unveiled the official route of the race. He highlighted the Alto del Collado Bermejo “Cima Marco Pantani”, which will be climbed this year on the La Marina side. Also the presence of the Alto del Cedacero. A trap that will play a big role in the course of the race.
The route of the Vuelta a la Región de Murcia is officially closed. Is set to be held between Fortuna and Cartagena on 12 February. It will consist of 189 kilometres, with three Metas Volantes, in the city of Murcia, Mazarrón and Cartagena, and with 3 King of the Mountain sprints: Cresta del Gallo (3rd category), Collado Bermejo Cima Marco Pantani (Special Category), and Alto del Cedacero (3rd category).
The last one will be crowned with 21 kilometres to go. It is 5 kilometres long, and has an average slope of 5.6%, and ramps that go over 10%. A true test for the sprinters, and for the riders without options on massive sprints.
It will be the first time that the race passes the city since 2015. Cartagena made its debut in 1986. That year, Miguel Indurain won a 6 kilometres ITT and started to show the rider that shone in the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.
Its last stage finish was in 1999. The winner of this 156 kilometres stage between Mazarrón and Cartagena was Davide Bramati. Djamolidine Abduzhaparov (1996) and Giovanni Lombardi (1994) are the other winners of a stage here.
The last time that the race started here was in 2003, when was the beginning of the stage which finished in the Alto de la Santa.
Stages in Cartagena:
- Prologue Stage: Victoria de Miguel Induráin.
- First stage start, Cartagena-Mazarrón.
- First stage finish, La Manga-Cartagena: Victoria de Giovanni Lombardi.
- Second stage start, Cartagena-Ceutí.
- First stage finish, Murcia-Cartagena: Victoria de Djamolidine Abduzhaparov.
- First stage finish, Murcia-Cartagena: Victoria de Davide Bramati.
- Fourth stage start, Cartagena-Alto de La Santa.