By Antonio J. Salmerón
One day after the General Sport director of Asturias, Misael Fernández Porrón, revealed that the Alto de l'Angliru and Fuentes de Invierno would be part of the 2008 Vuelta a España, the race's director Victor Cordero declined to confirm that the feared ascent would be a part of the 2008 event, but did acknowledge that it is an important feature. "Unfortunately, we need the Angliru climb to catch the public's attention," Cordero said during a conference Mieres, Spain
Cordero did not confirm Fernández Porrón's announcement that the Angliru and Fuentes de Invierno climbs would be used in the Vuelta 2008, but acknowledged to lne.es that, "there would be two significant mountain-top arrivals."
The 12.55-kilometre climb to Angliru last featured in the 2002 Vuelta, and is renowned for its stiff gradients – there is a sector of 23.6 percent in the final three kilometres. Spaniard Roberto Heras won five years ago, and before him it was Italian Gilberto Simoni (2000) and the late José Maria Jiménez (1999).
Tuesday's conference was also attended by several professional riders, such as the Asturias riders José Luis Rubiera (Discovery Channel), Carlos Barredo (Quick.Step - Innergetic), Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Santiago Pérez (Relax-GAM) and Benjamin Noval (Discovery Channel). The riders were of different opinions in regards to the Angliru's possible inclusion in the Vuelta, which in the past brought many problems.
Rubiera stressed that "the Angliru is too hard ... it is impossible, even if hearing that it is what keeps cycling alive." Cordero added, "We know that we can not include it every year in the Vuelta because it would burn out [the riders]."