Spain’s dwindling stock of one-day races has taken another hit after the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid organisers announced on Monday that they will be cancelling the capital’s only top road racing event this year.
A press release on the website of the Madrid Cycling Federation, which organised the race, blamed the Spanish recession - the worst in over 50 years and which has poleaxed numerous other cycling and sporting events - and pointed out that as a stage race, it had already gradually been reduced in length, from five days to one.
Formerly an amateur stage race, the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid had run both as an under 23 event (although the future of that event also now hangs in the balance), and since 2006 as a professional race, currently classified 1.1. It effectively acted as a replacement for the better-known and much more longstanding Vuelta a los Puertos race, which ended in 2008. Rui Costa in 2010 is amongst Madrid’s best-known former winners, and last year the victory went to Javier Moreno of Movistar.
Another Spanish one-day race, the GP Miguel Indurain, was recently on the point of folding because of a lack of funds but finally was saved by a last-minute sponsorship agreement, and Fernández Alba is hopeful that they will be able to do the same with the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid as and when Spain’s economy finally recovers.
"We hope that once this infamous recession is over or its effects lessen we will be able to turn things around and re-organize the race once more," he said. "This isn't a 'goodbye,' it’s a 'see you later.'"
Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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