Amateur squad rush

It’s 9 a.m. when Ken Zazbi’s music greets campers who’ve spent the night in their caravans in Landa from the Etxe Zuri restaurant’s loudspeakers. Five hours earlier, at four o’clock in the morning, Hermelinda Martinez and Jesus Lopez left the house. Early in the morning “to avoid problems with roadblocks”. Most avoided them by pedaling along the old Vasco-Navarro Trail. The other team, the amateurs. Bicycle as an end and as a means.

Also in Elorriaga, the point at which the race began to accelerate before receiving the flag for the official start in Arkaute, at the height of the Ertzaintza Academy, where some agents came to say goodbye to the test. Members of the Vitoriana Bicycle Association, the dean of the lava capital, did too, who painted the test in their unmistakably pink colors. Similarly, on two wheels, Teresa Simkim and her partner Patrick, who arrived from Lincolnshire, are in the UK. They are cycling enthusiasts, and they took advantage of their trip through northern Spain to complete the Camino de Santiago, and didn’t hesitate to come when they found out that the Tour was passing by the Parador de Argómaniz, where they were staying.

with pedals

Many of the followers biked to Arkaute, Landa and Kruzeta, hot spots on the trail

The heat and color of the multi-coloured snake, which was already segmented in Alegria with the first escape that day. Cavagna, Boasson Hagen and Paulis passed through Landa so quickly that we “hardly see” them. There are three hundred fans that were spread by the gutters. Like Gorka Ortaran, the former mayor of Vitoria and current regional deputy for social policies, he is a big fan of cycling and who this time changed his bike for one of the official cars of the Tour organization. The last fireworks were in the territory of Alava in Cruzeta.

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Ebb and flow in Cruzeta

Little Basque Switzerland was a rush in every way. what a wonderful atmosphere he breathes; More than a hobby, what was tangible was the dedication to cycling. The contestants forced their way through the human tide that roared with cheers and pushed that 12% slope with which the Festival Tour delivered its final blows in the lands of Alava. A road ten meters wide that ended in more than three metres, the picture was as overwhelming as it was exciting. As they climbed the lane it got hotter with every pedal stroke. Party in its purest form opened at 1:30pm as the race progressed.

Jesus Andrade

Not to be missed, not even Celedon missing, despite a certain French accent. Because Cristobal Ruiz, Ricardo Ruiz de Apodaca, Luisa Aristemono, Marisol Ruiz, Conchi Sedano, Joan Ruiz and Salvador Cabello took the yellow umbrella of the tour to liven up the sound of Vitorian’s celebrations. Even the flight attendant has hallucinations with good vibes being breathed into Cruzita. Others chose Quran or badminton games.

But what added flavor to the day was the art of cooking. Poor cyclists, the hardest thing for them was certainly not to go beyond that port, but to resist that varied list of wines, cheeses, tortillas … Vicente Mediavilla, Itziar Mediavilla and Zogaetz Ayuso were there preparing some chistorras. «This is the host! It’s as if the Champions League final has been played in Amorebieta,” compare this crew from Elorrio, ready to sink their teeth into the tour.

“i got Married!”

Nobody wants to miss it. Evidence of this is the caravanserai, which grew like mushrooms in the free corners of the road. Alitz Legarreta, Jose Luis Corbacho, Roberto Gonzalez, Mikel Gotti and John Gomez arrived from Ixapari on Friday to secure their place on the front row. “Having the opportunity to see it in the first person is indescribable. I guess we don’t yet realize what that entails.

indelible memory

“It is as if the Champions League final was played in Amorbieta. We don’t know yet.”

But away from the crowd and the beautiful atmosphere, the climb up to Cruzeta was full of anecdotes. Like Jose Ocaña, who came from Lanzarote to watch the Tour in Alava. Well, they brought it on without him knowing anything. It was the exciting surprise that his brother Carlos and Justo and their friend Damian Martinez had organized for him at his bachelor party. “I will get married!” Excited, he shared in the middle of a video call with his future wife. “How you can experience cycling in the Basque Country is amazing.”

Once the race headed towards Gipuzkoa, the lively atmosphere gradually returned to normal. Goodbye, a caravan of fans biked home. Best finish and tribute to the day Alava fans donned the yellow jersey.

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