Miguel Indurain and Carlos Sastre guests of honour at Vuelta a España presentation
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Miguel Indurain and Carlos Sastre guests of honour at Vuelta a España presentation

by Ben Atkins at 11:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Retired Tour winners to preside over announcement of route for 67th edition of Spanish race

miguel indurainMiguel Indurain and Carlos Sastre will be the guests of honour at the presentation of the route of this year’s Vuelta a España on Wednesday January 11th. The two former Tour de France winners – with Indurain the first rider to take five victories in a row between 1991 and 1995 – will preside over the unveiling of the 67th edition at the Baluarte, the ‘Palacio de Congresos y Auditorio de Navarra’ in Pamplona.

While Indurain also took two editions of the Giro d’Italia, neither he nor Sastre took victory in their home Grand Tour. The great Navarran champion rode eight editions of the race, which was held in April during his peak years, with his best finish being second place to Melchor Mauri in 1991, the year of his first Tour win.  His abandonment of the 1996 race – which was only the second edition to be held in September – marked what many regard as his premature retirement from the sport.

Sastre also made the Vuelta podium in his career, without actually reaching the top step, finishing second in 2005 (after the retrospective disqualification of original winner Roberto Heras) and 2007, and third in 2008, the year of his Tour win; in his ten participations in the race he finished in the top ten eight times. Like Indurain, Sastre retired after the Vuelta, finishing 20th after an aggressive race that saw him attempt a swansong stage victory on a number of occasions.

Also present at the ceremony will be 2011 race winner Juanjo Cobo, two-time winner Denis Menchov, Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodríguez, Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez. Igor Antón and David Moncoutié, the winner of the last four Vuelta mountain jerseys.

The 2012 race, to be held between August 18th and September 9th, will start with a team time trial in the city of Pamplona; the first road stage to Viana the following day promises to be flat. No further details will be announced until the official presentation on Wednesday, but the race is predicted to be set to visit the Principality of Andorra early on and feature the climb to the Bola del Mundo in the final days.


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