By Iker Rioja
Víctor Cordero, director of the Vuelta, met yesterday with Spanish fans according to As. Cordero predicted this would be the best Vuelta ever and said he believes the route will keep the race exciting until the final time trial near Madrid, even though the Asturias Mountains arrive early this year.
In fact, the early trip to the mountains has some advantage. "It is a way to attract the public from the very beginning," said Cordero, who is "happier than ever" with the attendance of teams like Predictor-Lotto, "which, in leaving McEwen out, is surely thinking in the overall classification." Cordero called the Spaniards scheduled to participate in the race "stronger than ever."
After explaining how the teams were selected, Cordero explained that the Fuerteventura-Canarias team should have known since it picked its team that it would not be able to ride the Spanish Tour. "All the riders that are taking part in the Vuelta have credibility," said Cordero, and he call professional cyclists "by far, the most responsible sportsmen in the world." He added that of more than a thousand pros all over the world, "less than three percent are breaking the rules."
Should events of the Vuelta play out similarly to events of the Tour de France, Cordero said organizers "don't have the authority to send any team away. We can only recommend it leave the race."
When a fan questioned the state of the sport, Cordero said, "There is no need to suffer a year without cycling. In fact, we have been working on a side project to the UCI ProTour for three years, and 2008 could be the year in which the three major races can design their events however they like."
Looking toward future editions of the race, Cordero explained that Unipublic is working to take the race back to L'Angliru, the hardest mountain in Spain, and to prepare a nice stage around Los Ancares, in Galicia. "We couldn't do it this year as we are departing from there." Unipublic is also considering a night stage and confirmed plans for some foreign departures in the next few years. One such possibility is a Vuelta start in the Netherlands in 2009.