Vuelta a España director-general Javier Guillén has knocked back hopes that the Spanish race might be the first grand tour to visit the United States. Speaking to Europa Press, Guillén said that he had studied the possibility of taking the race to New York, but had rejected the idea for time being.
“We studied the options for an American adventure, but it didn’t really add up,” said Guillén. “I can’t see this challenge being taken up in the short term.”
The Vuelta race boss did, though, reveal his desire to take the race to the Canary Islands and specifically to the climb of Mount Teide on the island of Tenerife. “Before we go to New York I would prefer to take the race to the Balearic or the Canary Islands. We’d love to take the race up Teide, it’s more achievable. But taking the race across to the Canary Islands is complicated because it would have to be done towards the end of the Vuelta,” said Guillén.
A favourite training location for pros looking for altitude training in good conditions, the main road on the Teide volcano climbs to almost 2,500m and would offer a spectacular challenge.
Guillén also touched on the Vuelta’s decision not to invite the Spanish Caja Rural team to this year’s race, which has provoked a good deal of criticism within Spain. “I told them that it was going to be very difficult for them to get in this year. We want to have teams involved that are well consolidated because taking part in the Vuelta should not be the justification for a team’s season.
“Unfortunately, the best Spanish riders are not in Spanish teams and we focus on getting the best riders in first, not on the teams. But there was no bad will involved in leaving Caja Rural out of the race,” Guillén stated, adding that the team should get into next year’s race “very easily.”