Orihuela hosts stage start for first day of Vuelta Valenciana pro cycling stage race

Orihuela Mayor, Carolina Gracia cuts the ribbon for the Vuelta Valenciana elite cycling race last week in the city’s old town. Photo credit: Ayuntamiento de Orihuela (via Facebook)

ORIHUELA played host for the first stage of the Vuelta Valenciana pro cycling race last week. City Mayor, Carolina Gracia, cut the ribbon on the start line on Wednesday, February 1, setting the 74th edition of the race in motion.

Eritrean cyclist, Biniam Girmay raced to victory in the first stage of the race, which covered a huge 189.4 kilometres before ending in Altea. Fresh from victory in the Mallorca Challege, Portuguese star Rui Costa took overall victory in the five stage race.

Speaking at the start of the event, Gracia expressed pride that Orihuela had been chosen for a high profile event, bringing sporting professionals and their support teams to the city. Gracia also highlighted the values of the event, which promotes good sportsmanship and healthy lifestyles.

Regional tourism representative, Herick Campos also thanked race organisers, saying that the promotion of the city within the cycling sphere internationally would boost tourism prospects and sports tourism.

Race director, Ángel Casero thanked the council and the local police for their cooperation in organising the event, saying they “welcomed us with open arms”.

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