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Gallery: The best photos from the Vuelta a Espana opening weekend

George Smith
27 Aug 2019

The best images from the opening three stages of the 74th Vuelta a Espana

Between the bustling promenades of Torrevieja and the famed beaches of Benidorm, it is hard not to fall in love with Spain’s Costa Blanca at the worst of times - just ask the army of British emigrants who currently occupy the region.

Throw into the mix some of the most famous cyclists in the world and breathtaking Meditteranean coastal roads and you’ve got a recipe for the latest entry into the Cyclist Gallery.

Thus far the spectacle of the 74th Vuelta a España - which began on Saturday in southeastern Spain - has not disappointed. Beginning with a rapid TTT on stage 1, riders have moved on from Torrevieja to Calpe and then to Alicante via Benidorm and Ciudad del Juguete.

While that may read more as a Valencian pilgrimage for British hen parties on their way to some beachfront Mecca, it has been a reality for the 22 teams tackling the third and final Grand Tour of the year.

And while fishbowls have been replaced by espressos and kebabs swapped out for rice cakes, there’s still plenty of time for that in the off-season.

But before riders can revel in such normalised debauchery on the Spanish seafront they will have to face some gruelling challenges in the coming days.

Ironic, considering he took victory on Stage 2 into Calpe after hoodwinking a small group of GC riders on the final run to the line.

This came the day after Astana took the opening stage team time trial, avoiding the washing-up liquid of a Torreviejcan fish restaurant, and a day before Sam Bennett proved he is a world class sprinter regardless of what his Bora-Hansgrohe team think.

In the weeks that follow expect blistering temperatures, punishing climbs and tricky terrains as the riders move out of the southeast and across the country. So expect more phenomenal photos too.

For now, though, here are our favourites from the opening weekend of racing. ¡Que no pare la fiesta!

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