La Vuelta a España, the Tour of Spain cycling road race, is used to being regarded as the little brother of the three Grand Tours of Europe, lacking some of the history and tradition of the tours of France and Italy.

In 2010, the Vuelta a España will be celebrating its 75h Anniversary.

The Mayor for Orihuela, Monica Lorente, announced this week that the prestigious bike race will be going through the city and surrounding municipalities, including Rojales and Benijofar, when the Vega Baja stage of the event takes place on Friday 3rd September.

Ms Lorente told a press conference at the Orihuela Town Hall that she is honoured the city is to play host to one of Spain’s biggest annual sporting events and announced a series of projects in the city, such as road surface improvements, to prepare for the big event. She said: “This sporting event is one of the most important of the year and is a great way to promote the city of Orihuela.”

The city will be the main base for the seventh stage of the bicycle tour and will welcome cyclists from all over the World. It is the second time that Orihuela has been involved in the Tour of Spain but Ms Lorente says that this year it is even more symbolic as 2010 is also the centenary of the birth of Orihuela born poet Miguel Hernández.

FIESTA

The Town Hall has made an enormous effort to get the cycling tour organisers to include Orihuela as one of its stage cities. Ms Lorente said: “The organisation that goes into staging this event is enormous and many hours of dedicated work has taken place behind the scenes in order to have this prestigious event in our city.”

The Mayor also announced that the 3rd September will be officially classed as a fiesta day for the residents of Orihuela City as it is important that they can personally witness one of the most important sporting events, not only on a national level but internationally.

More than 14 municipalities in the Vega Baja will see cyclists from the tour go through, including Jacarilla, Benejúzar, Algorfa, Benijófar, Rojales, Formentera, Almoradí, Dolores, Catral, Redován, Albatera, Guardamar, Cox and Granja de Rocamora.

*report from roundtownnews

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