What's Cool In Road Cycling

La Vuelta: My Day At The Races

The Vuelta a Espaсa is over, and the season is nearly gone, but our Spanish reporter, and podium girl photographer has a little more behind the scenes stories from this year’s race to cheer up your drab day.

I don’t think you lot realizes what hard-ships I go through to bring you reports and photos of babes from La Vuelta. Its hard work you know! The day I went to the stage finish at the Alto de Aitana it was cold, wet and gray, so let me tell you more.

You can only take so many pictures of beautiful women before they start to say thinks like “oh no! Its him again” or “get away from me, you’re scaring me”, so maybe it was time to watch some bike racing for a change.

Before I tell you about my day, let me show you it’s not only you readers who appreciate my work, this rider’s face tells how happy it made him to pose for the camera and get a chance of female closeness, it also shows how easily pleased a bike rider can be, his little face lit up like a Christmas tree, lucky boy!

So back to bike racing. The stage to the Aitana is near where I live, and the road to the top has only been open the public once before, two years ago for La Vuelta and I didn’t want to miss my chance this time. Let me say now, one of the best things about being an accredited “Periodista” is being able to drive past people walking up the mountain to the best seats to watch the race, the only other better thing is drinking in a air-cooled VIP suite on the finish line while those other poor people fry under a Spanish sun trying to see anything.

My day started in the press room, which was about 5 kilometers from the summit finish and was in a military base. Very strange building, painted in camouflage with old missiles and guns as monuments to the past. There was a bus laid on for us to the finish, but as the food and drink was cheap (not free), I didn’t think there would be many takers, how wrong could I be, well there was too many for the bus. Up the road we went, through roadblocks and security controls.

I had never seen so many guns in my life, when we were to enter the last most secure area a high ranking officer asked us all to hold our accreditation up, of course some voice from the back of the bus shouts “next stop Quantanimo Bay?” it went down like a lead balloon.

So space station type landscape with domes and a bike race, all very odd, but interesting, the call of free food and drink courtesy of the girls at the Communitat Valenciana (red dresses) VIP bus was too much for me, so it was off there to watch the race on TV. Best place to watch as the cloud was so low you couldn’t see a thing. Then it was a mad scramble to get some photos of riders in daft hats, Carlos Sastre of CSC was by far the winner…

Then it was back to the press room to find all the food had gone and I had to go to the next best thing (NOT) for dinner, after a 2 hour wait to get down the mountain. It’s not all glamour and slap up feeds for us journalists you know!


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