Spanish cycling has been hit by the loss of another long-standing race. A change to the UCI calendar has revealed that the Subida al Naranco, held in the northern province of Asturias will not take place in early May this year.
First run in 1941, the race finishes on the Alto del Naranco climb that stands over the city of Oviedo. Last year’s 44th edition was won by Asturian rider Santi Pérez.
The Naranco race traditionally took place a couple of days after the finish of Vuelta Asturias. Both races are organised by the Club Ciclista Aramo, which has announced that the Naranco climb will now feature on the final day on this year’s Vuelta Asturias, which comprises of six stages spread over five days.
Asturian newspaper La Nueva España has revealed that the Vuelta Asturias is also facing financial difficulties. The Club Ciclista Aramo has admitted there is a €20,000 shortfall in their budget and are hoping that the regional government will plug the gap.
“Times are hard from an economic point of view,” said Cristina Alvarez Mendo, president of the race organisation. “I am grateful to the sponsors who have remained faithful to us and also to the efforts of public institutions and I hope that we can ultimately cover the budget.”
Back in 1997, the Asturian Tour of the Mining Valleys was one of the first five-day stage races in Spain to disappear from the international calendar. Initially, its organisers had been aiming to miss just one year, but the event has not been organised in subsequent seasons.
The 55th edition of the Vuelta Asturias will take place on April 28-May 2 and feature two summit finishes, including the finale on the Naranco.
The 2011 Vuelta Asturias stages:
Stage 1: April 28: Oviedo-Gijón
Stage 2A: April 29: Gijón-Avilés
Stage 2B: April 29: Piedras Blancas time trial
Stage 3: April 30: Luarca-Santuario del Acebo
Stage 4: May 1: Cafés Toscaf (Pravia)-Oviedo
Stage 5: May 2: Oviedo-Naranco