CyclingPub Feature - Vuelta a Burgos: We will be the testing ground for other races
Jun 30 2020 11:07 pm CET

CyclingPub Feature - Vuelta a Burgos: We will be the testing ground for other races
CyclingPub Feature - Vuelta a Burgos: We will be the testing ground for other races
Vuelta a Burgos

The Vuelta a Burgos 2020 has a privileged position on the new calendar of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and that comes with an increase of attention and participation.

While in 2018 and 2019 four WorldTour teams were in the Spanish race, for 2020, twelve teams of the highest tier of professional cycling are expected to be at the start line. The race will be the first stage race of the ProSeries after the stop of cycling due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although the race keeps its original dates within the revamped calendar of the UCI, it serves as a perfect starting point for the rest of the season and that's why it is attracting so much interest from teams, riders and fans. Its start-list hasn't been confirmed yet but riders of the importance of Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Mikel Landa, Wout Poels (Bahrain Merida), Enric Mas, Marc Soler, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and the current World Champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) are set to be at the start line.

The attraction to the race isn't only about the riders and the confirmation of their shape in such an unconventional season, but also because it will be the testing ground of protocols and measures that have to be taken to protect everybody against Covid-19.

CyclingPub.com got in touch with the organisation of the Vuelta a Burgos to get to know a bit more about everything around it just weeks before its start.

The world of cycling is ready to get back to the roads but keeping a close eye on the development of the pandemic, to be cautious about all the circumstances. Are you organising everything as if it is certain that it is going to happen?

In the Provincial Council of Burgos, the organising entity of the race, we are giving all of our effort to make the race happen. The routes have already been presented, the teams have been invited, the television production agreement has been done... And we are working on all the health contingency plans to make it a safe race.

What does the attention of this position on the new calendar and everything that comes with it, particularly the interest of more teams, mean for the race? Could this edition make a difference in the future of the competition?

The Vuelta a Burgos is a race with a history of more than 40 years and it has been won by great riders of world importance like Pedro Delgado, (Marino) Lejarreta, (Tony) Rominger, (Laurent) Jalabert, (Abraham) Olano, (Alex) Zulle, (Alejandro) Valverde, Samuel Sánchez, Joaquim Rodríguez, Nairo Quintana, Alberto Contador, Mikel Landa... But it is true that this year we can have a bigger line-up riding on our roads.

We have always been known for taking special care of the cyclists, focusing on security matters, and we hope that all the teams that come this year get to know it deeply, and they return in the upcoming years.

Have you taken extra organisational and logistic measures to be prepared to receive more teams of a higher profile and everything that comes with it; more press, more public, more traffic on the website?

The logistic part of our race will change very little in comparison with the years before. We have done the television production for many years, we have been selling it and making it known throughout a lot of countries in the world but it is true that this year the interest for the information and the broadcasting has increased.

The world of cycling has put its eyes on our organisation, and we should highlight the support that we have received from Unipublic, the organising company of the Vuelta a España. We could say that we are co-organising it with them.

In relation to the Covid-19 measures, do you already have concrete plans to avoid crowds at the start and finish of the stages, as well as along the route?

This year we will be very strict about the prevention measures we will take in relation to the coronavirus. At every start and finish of the stages we will have a limited capacity of people that can access them. Everybody has to maintain a minimum distance of a metre and a half and should be wearing masks.

To avoid big crowds at the start lines we will do a television production to stream the presentation of the teams so everybody can follow them from their houses and we will also put up screens at the adjacent streets to stop people from going to the stages.

Also at the finish lines of the mountain stages, traffic will be limited so public can only access by foot and respecting the health protocols.

Do you have any Covid-19 protocols prepared?

Besides the emergency and work risk plans that we make every year, and after receiving the protocols from the UCI and following the recommendations from the sanitary authorities of Spain, the Burgos council has worked on a health contingency plan with the objective of making the Vuelta a Burgos the image of a safe sport.

We are aware that if everything keeps going ahead, we will be the first race in Europe at this level and it will serve as an example for all the WorldTour races that will take place after ours to apply these protocols.

We will be the testing ground for the entire world and that is why everybody is excited about the race. Following this line, all the staff of the organisation will have a specific training on Covid-19.

By Mary Cárdenas
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