The surroundings of El Caminito del Rey are going to be the final stage of La Vuelta again
The target is going to be at the Visitor Reception Centre
At least two months before the beginning of the 73rd edition of La Vuelta, which is setting off in Málaga on 25th August, technical details about the race have been released – the race starts in Marbella end it ends at El Caminito del Rey. The finish line, which is also the end of a rather promising, challenging and stunning stage, is going to be at the Visitor Reception Centre.
County Council Representative for Sport, Youth and Education Cristóbal Ortega and General Manager of La Vuelta Javier Guillén gave the above news at a press conference that took place in the centre and was also attended by Mayoress of Ardales María del Mar González, Representative for Sport in Álora Desirée Flores Cortés, and other town council representatives, as well as Miguel Ángel Marín who was representing Carrefour, sponsor of the event.
The stage, which is going to be run on 23rd August is flat, is 163.5 km long, with an elevation at the end. The cyclists are going to access Ojen Mountain Pass (555 m) and go through the towns of Coín, Alozaina, Pizarra and Álora before coming to El Chorro, where another elevation (470 m) at the Alto de Ardales is, right in front of the towns of Pizarra and Álora. The target is at the building which is going to be the Visitor Centre of El Caminito del Rey.
The County Council Representative said this stage route has been modified so it could end close to the centre which was made for visitors who come to the trail and promote it. This is where people who come to the path will get to know this stunning natural beauty spot and admire the views of the Count of Guadalhorce's Reservoir. The building was designed by architect Luis Machuca, and it will contain information for hiking and nature lovers who wish to find out more about the Gaitanes Gorge.
Javier Guillén also said: 'We are glad to be able to make this agreement with La Vuelta and we appreciate they provided support to the Province of Málaga and the towns around the path'. He explained that La Vuelta was also a way to promote places and the way to take advantage of the resources the province had. Therefore, the organizers of la Vuelta, the County Council and the town councils in question agreed to slightly modify the route without affecting the stage as it will entirely go along El Caminito del Rey path. So we will be able to admire its surroundings and the stage will still be highly challenging.
La Vuelta and El Caminito del Rey
This is not the first time that La Vuelta includes this area in its route. In 2015, the race went along the roads that surround Desfiladero de los Gaitanes gorge. Mr Ortega said: 'This is the second time that the end of this race is at this emblematic place which is so important for our inland.' He also underlined that El Caminito del Rey was one of the icons of the inland tourism in the province. The County Council Representative added than the 65% of the visitors are foreigners who came from more than 80 different countries, and he emphasized that thanks to La Vuelta, the path was going to be seen in more than 180 countries, and because of that it was an opportunity to promote areas and nature sites in the inland of the province.
Media Coverage and Economic Impact
Wide media coverage of the event on RTVE (Spanish National TV) is going to show 70 live hours of the stage, something which will reach more than 1.5 million viewers. Moreover, social networks that cover La Vuelta count on more than 300,000 followers, its web site has an average of 12 million visits, and the uploaded videos have been played more than 27 million times. The Town of Málaga stars the promo of this event featured by singer from Málaga Nuria Fergó.
However, this national and international promotion of the path during La Vuelta is not the only benefit gained thanks to the race. Economic impact is rather big as every day there are more than 3,000 people, included 176 cyclists from 22 teams and their helpers, commissaires, organization members, journalists and police.
This is why the Mayoress of Ardales said that La Vuelta was an important support and way of promoting Ardales and the surroundings. Representative for Sport of the Town Council of Álora said that the town council in question used this resource as much as possible and they were going to make huge efforts to create the greatest possible impact with it.
Stages in Málaga
The start of the 73rd stage of La Vuelta is taking place in Málaga on the 25th of August at the Centre Pompidou. The first stage, called 'Museums Stage' will be an individual time trial that ends at the Plaza de la Constitución.
The second stage starts in Marbella and ends at El Caminito del Rey. The third stage starts in Mijas and finishes in Alhaurín de la Torre. Lastly, the fourth stage goes from Vélez-Málaga and goes towards Alfacar in Granada.