Costa Blanca sets the scene for La Vuelta a España
Cyclists taking part in the gruelling Tour of Spain or La Vuelta a Espana 2017 will once more be passing through scenic routes in the Alicante region so cycling fans are able to get a glimpse of their idols battling through the beautiful but mountainous countryside as well as more relaxing coastal routes.
The teams have been chosen to take part in the 72th edition of the Spanish Grand Tour. La Vuelta 2017 will start on Saturday August 19 from the French city of NÃ®mes and finish on Sunday September 10 September in Madrid.
Stage 8 on Saturday August 26 is over 184kms and takes in some of the picture-postcard perfect scenes in the Alicante interior. Starting in Hellin it will go through Villena, Biar, Onil, Alcoy, Ibi and Tibi before an uphill climb to Xorret de Cati.
Stage nine takes in the beautiful Alicante coast and countryside on Sunday August 27 It's a 176.3km ride, which starts flat with an uphill finale. The start line is on the Orihuela Costa going through Torrevieja, Guardamar del Segura, El Altet, Alicante, San Juan de Alicante, El Campello, Benidorm, Altea, Calpe, Benitachell, Javea and then that tough climb up to the Cumbre del Sol.
La Vuelta 2017 involves 21 stages over a staggering 3,297.7kms with five flat stages; one flat stage with high-altitude finale; eight hill stages; five mountain stages; one individual team trial; and one team time trial stage. As well as marvelling at the cyclists' stamina, the scenery in La Vuelta a EspaÃ±a takes your breath away too. This year, spectators can enjoy the sights of Andorra, Tarragona, Benicassim, Orihuela, Javea, Lorca, Coin, Sierra Nevada, LogroÃ±o, Gijon and Madrid.
The Tour of Spain is watched by abut 360 million viewers in 150 countries on television who can marvel at the stamina, speed and skill of the cyclists as well as enjoying stunning scenery. So this is a great advert for the Alicante province.
The Tour of Spain makes up cyclingâs three Grand Tours along with the famous Tour de France and Giro DâItalia. The Spanish edition was first held in 1935 although racing was sporadic throughout the 1930s and 1940s because of the Civil War and World War Two.
Previous competitors have included Alberto Contador, Chris Froome, Alejandro Valderde and Chris Horner. So youâll see some top riders whizzing past on the Costa Blanca.
If you fancy a cycling holiday, please read our article on Winter Cycling in Alicante