Murcia to start in San Pedro

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The Vuelta a Murcia, which will take place on March 5-9, 2008, will start and finish in San Pedro del Pinatar, while the other stage start and finish destinations are still being finalized. "The first stage will start in San Pedro del Pinatar, where the third one will finish," event representative Francisco Gúzman told "The capital city of the region of Murcia will also be the end of the last stage."

Other details regarding the event's 2008 route are sketchy, however Gúzman did offer some insight into a possible climbing time trial. "We are now negotiating with some cities, so that we cannot say anything more on the subject, although we very much liked the climbing time trial between Alhama and Aledo," he said, referring to the stage won be Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) in 2007. "The Collado Bermejo climb is well known by many riders, but we are studying another similar final stage in order to find a solution to the traffic jam that always takes place after finishing the stage."

"The Club Murciano Organizador de Carreras is always concerned because there is a reasonable balance between the plain and mountainous terrain, especially when the season is just beginning," Gúzman explained.

In 2007, the Vuelta a Murcia had serious problems for completing its budget, especially in the absence of the its usual live television coverage. "We will have not any more of that, because the Vuelta a Murcia can also take place without TV, on the internet," said Gúzman. "We are working in order to make it possible to see it live on the internet." During this year's race people who visited were able to listen to interviews and watch the final stages, something the organizers plan on expanding for 2008.

"We are waiting for the participation of the best ProTour and Pro Continental squads, as always, because they will be always in the same hotel and the movements are short distance and very comfortable," Gúzman concluded.

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