The town of Xabia hits the headlines once more in a show of solidarity, proving that very little gets in the way of determination and fortitude. It’s what makes this small town so great.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of witnessing the Spanish cycling team arrive for their overnight stay at The Marriot Hotel in Denia along with their individual physiotherapists and a mountain of equipment. Therefore – I’m confident they rested well.
Today marks stage 19 of the race La Vuelta. For the first time, the Vuelta will hold an Individual Time Trial in the second-last stage – 37km between Xabia (Javea) and Calpe along the Mediterranean Coast that is sure to be an incredible sight for spectators.
It will be a technical time trial, which will not make much of a difference to the general classification – keeping in mind that there is still another mountain stage ahead. The route will be favorable for rouleurs and time trial specialists who will have the chance to obtain a stage victory.
Even in the midst of all that has befallen this small town, they STILL stepped up to the plate and set the organizational wheels in motion to make sure NOTHING stood in the way of keeping to their word. It takes courage to face adversity, and strength in solidarity to prove to the world that they can overcome the adversity. Xabia is officially on the map when it comes to doing what it takes to move forward – through TEAMWORK. The word ‘proud‘ right about now, is an understatement.
La Vuelta chose Xabia to be a part of the famous race this year, and Xabia proudly accepted.
Xabia will without doubt, be cheering MOVISTAR Team Espana en route. The sun is shining, the excitement is building, and this little town is more than ready. In preparation, a wonderful message of solidarity was displayed on the Arenal beach for all to see – and has been shared with immense personal pride all over social media.
The course should be familiar to alot of riders as most teams train in this region before the start of the pro-cycling season. Stage 20, is a demanding mountain stage, but this stage is a chance for the time trial specialists – so the end of the 2016 Vuelta is not unlike last year’s edition. Back then, the battle was between Tom Dumoulin and Fabio Aru – With the Dutchman taking control in the chrono race before he was bested by Astana and Aru in the mountains.
The Calpe time trial is tailor made for the pros. When the riders reach El Poble Nou de Benitatxell with 11 kilometres done, the race peaks at a modest elevation of 175 metres. The road rolls on for 5 kilometres and then a drop brings them back to an almost entirely flat section that is leading to the line in 20 kilometres.
Transport Police on motorbikes cleared the route in a procession that spanned the length of the coastline – a spectacle never seen before now.
Riders, Nairo Quintana, Cris Froome and Alberto Contador are the top-favourites, however it’s anybody’s race. Last year Tom Dumoulin and Esteban Chaves were the dark horses, while Fabio Aru who eventually won the race with Quintana finishing in fourth.
GOOD LUCK to ALL of the Riders