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Organisers as they broke the news on Friday. Julio Portabales
Vuelta a Andalucía cycle race reduced to just one stage due to ongoing farmers' protests
Cycling

Vuelta a Andalucía cycle race reduced to just one stage due to ongoing farmers' protests

Organisers said it was "a serious blow to the image of Andalusian and Spanish cycling", not to mention the significant economic damage to the inland towns that had been due to host the various stages

Julio Portabales

Malaga

Friday, 16 February 2024, 22:45

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The highly anticipated Vuelta a Andalucía cycling race had to be reduced to just one single stage after sufficient police resources couldn't be guaranteed due to the ongoing agricultural strike.

Despite the tireless efforts of the organising committee to salvage one of Spain's oldest cycling competitions, which had to be concluded this year to avoid sanctions, the scarcity of Guardia Civil personnel rendered it impossible to proceed safely.

The race, also known as the Ruta del Sol, had been due to start on Wednesday (14 February) with a stage from Almuñécar to Cádiar (both Granada). However, this, and the second stage between Vélez-Málaga (Malaga) and Alcaudete (Jaén) on Thursday had to be called off.

It was expected that the remaining stages could be rescheduled. However, on Friday it was confirmed that Alcaudete would be the sole location to witness the 102 cyclists participating in the 2024 edition.

A win for Lotto–Dstny

As the Jaén town hosted the six-kilometre time trial on Friday afternoon, Belgian rider Maxim Van Gils (Lotto–Dstny) clinched the yellow jersey for the general classification.

Antonio Tiberi (Team Bahrain Victorious), meanwhile, secured the red jersey for the mountains classification, Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) took the green jersey for points classification, and Jefferson Cepeda (Caja Rural–Seguros RGA) claimed the blue jersey for the sprints classification.

Having only managed to host one stage out of five, the organisers expressed their dismay and sadness at the turn of events, which they described as "a serious blow to the image of Andalusian and Spanish cycling", not to mention the significant economic damage to the inland towns that had been due to host the various stages.

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