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The 58th edition of the Vuelta a Asturias, which was scheduled on the following weekend from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 of May, will not take place because of sudden economic problems which overcame the race organization, Club Ciclista Aramo, this week.
The race's official presentation was set to happen yesterday evening, but it was cancelled by the Club Ciclista Aramo with a laconic press release that stated it was "not possible to announce the full details of the race due to unexpected problems arisen lately".
Today La Nueva España, the Vuelta a Asturias' official newspaper, was more specific and asserted the problems are "economic". According to its information, the Asturian institutions "had committed to hand a sum of money, but haven't confirmed it yet", putting the race at risk. Other Asturian local newspaper, El Comercio, published today that Club Ciclista Aramo are short of 40,000 euro to make the race happen, and those were to be provided by sponsors which pulled out this week.
Nairo Quintana was set to be Vuelta a Asturias' main star. Although the Colombian's public statements contained doubts on whether he would take part in Asturias or the concurrent WorldTour stage race Tour de Romandie, he featured on the Spanish event's official poster. Also, the general manager of Movistar Team, Eusebio Unzué, was reported to have confirmed Quintana's attendance to Club Ciclista Aramo last week.
The cancellation of Vuelta a Asturias could mean Nairo Quintana would start the upcoming Giro d'Italia, the main target of his season, without having competed a single day since March, when he finished 5th at Volta a Catalunya. This would emulate the build-up of his breakout Tour de France, where he raced to the podium not having contested any event since April.
Quintana is currently preparing for the race at his home in Colombia along with teammate Jonathan Castroviejo. Both are intended to fly back to Europe this weekend. Asked for comment by Cyclingnews, Movistar Team DS José Luis Arrieta stated that not racing in Asturias "wouldn't be a drama for Quintana performance-wise" and that a last-minute call for Romandie in order to test his condition before the Giro "hasn't been considered".
The decision of cancelling 2014 Vuelta a Asturias was taken this afternoon, after a long meeting where the members of Club Ciclista Aramo unsuccessfully tried to contact the Asturian institutions that allegedly removed its support this week. This cancellation means a disaster for Spanish cycling, which in 7 years has lost 67 of the 96 UCI Europe Tour race days it had in 2007.