La Vuelta 2021 - Stage 8: Santa Pola > La Manga del Mar Menor 173,7 km **Spoilers**

Stage 8: Santa Pola > La Manga del Mar Menor 173,7 km

21-08-2021
Start time 12-34pm


The second Saturday offers the sprinters what could be their fourth chance to go head to head, as the stage is another one without any categorised difficulties. The stage is mainly played out on the Costa Cálida, in east Murcia. Starting in Santa Pola, just to the south of Alicante, the route follows the Costa Blanca south through Torrevieja. The race cuts inland through Torre Pacheco to reach Cartagena, site of the intermediate sprint. The inland spin in the last 70 kilometres features a number of small climbs, but presumably not enough to thwart a bunch sprint form happening. The riders will then turn eastwards, heading towards the finale at La Manga del Mar Menor.



Little more than 100 metres wide, this sandy strip of land separates the Mediterranean from the inland Mar Menor, which has become a huge watersports centre. It’s been 41 years since La Vuelta last visited La Manga del Mar Menor. In 1980, the town hosted the Big Start and Roberto Visentini won the ITT on the first day of action.



Last Kilometes



The only thing that could stop this stage from ending in a bunch sprint is the wind, but unfortunately this isn't the high plateau.

Favourites 8th stage 2021 Vuelta a España

*** Fabio Jakobsen, Jasper Philipsen, Arnaud Démare
** Michael Matthews, Matteo Trentin, Alberto Dainese
* Sebastián Molano, Martin Laas, Riccardo Minali, Clément Venturini

Santa Pola

Unprecedented departure
33.303 inhabitants.
Located 20 km from Alicante, Santa Pola features several kilometres of coastline and numerous beaches, making it one of Alicante’s most attractive localities.
However, two days before the start of La Vuelta, Santa Pola was hit on Wednesday night by the freak weather incident, which caused tsunami-like waves to hit the coastal area.
Santa Pola is, at present, a coastal fishing and tourist town. Historically, this port proved paramount for the development of the region's maritime commerce.



La Manga del Mar Menor

3 stages of La Vuelta
33.129 inhabitants.

La Manga combines tourism, biodiversity, beaches and an excellent climate. It also has an extraordinary list of cycling achievements under its belt. Though it has only hosted three La Vuelta finish-lines, all of them have been very relevant to the race’s history. Highlights include the Official Departure of La Vuelta 1980 and the passing through of La Vuelta 1977, with Freddy Maertens’ legendary performance. His victory in La Manga was the second of 13 stage victories obtained within the same edition, a record that remains unbroken.



The gastronomy of La Manga is notable for the variety and quality of its fish and seafood.



Typical of the area are the bream and mullet in salt, as well as the shrimp. Also very important is the salt fish: the red, roe of mullet and tuna of hijada, which fla are seasoned and accompanied by raw and tender beans or fried almonds.









"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

Comments

  • Is La Manga the sports training place? Where they used to film Superstars?
  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,541
    edited August 2021
    Scheduling a sprint stage on a Saturday of a grand tour is very annoying, especially when it's pissing down outside.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 39,820
    mrb123 said:

    Scheduling a sprint stage on a Saturday of a grand tour is very annoying, especially when it's pissing down outside.

    Was thinking the same thing, very odd.
  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,541
    Someone has finally managed to silence Carlton!
  • Dorset_Boy
    Dorset_Boy Posts: 6,726
    Yay, Carlton free commentary for the time being! King Kelly has silenced him!
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,190
    Did Kelly finally flip?
  • orraloon
    orraloon Posts: 12,509
    Audio connection issues. Let's hope they cannot sort them out and carry on with Blythe and Kelly.
  • dabber
    dabber Posts: 1,924
    You spoke too soon!
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Kona Hei Hei/Calibre Bossnut
  • gsk82
    gsk82 Posts: 3,414
    Pross said:

    mrb123 said:

    Scheduling a sprint stage on a Saturday of a grand tour is very annoying, especially when it's pissing down outside.

    Was thinking the same thing, very odd.
    They sometimes do it going in to big cities because of the lower levels of traffic. But I've never heard of la manga.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 71,565
    15km to go and it is a throwback classic Vuelta 2 lane motorway style straight run into the finish
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 71,565
    At 4km to go they’re in the town and it is faaaast
  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,541

    15km to go and it is a throwback classic Vuelta 2 lane motorway style straight run into the finish

    They can't whinge about the road then when they crash.
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,190
    Dull. Jakobsen. Don't know why they put this on a Saturday.

    Watching the Hundred instead.
  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,541
    Struggling to get engaged with this Vuelta. Combination of relatively uninteresting route thus far, lack of ITV highlights, Kirby, but mainly the feeling that it may be a Roglic procession.
  • gsk82
    gsk82 Posts: 3,414
    Pross said:

    mrb123 said:

    Scheduling a sprint stage on a Saturday of a grand tour is very annoying, especially when it's pissing down outside.

    Was thinking the same thing, very odd.
    They sometimes do it going in to big cities because of the lower levels of traffic. But I've never heard of la manga.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 39,820

    15km to go and it is a throwback classic Vuelta 2 lane motorway style straight run into the finish

    Or narrow and twisty according to Carlton
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 39,820
    mrb123 said:

    Someone has finally managed to silence Carlton!

    Meant he had to cram even more words into the time he had access to the mic.
  • dabber
    dabber Posts: 1,924
    I just closed my eyes for a moment and just listened. the word that came in to my head was.... incessant...incessant...incessant...
    Does he ever breathe?
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Kona Hei Hei/Calibre Bossnut
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 71,565
    Narrow road, teams all over the place, fdj and bora taking over with QS in the wings
  • bm5
    bm5 Posts: 529
    On the run in I thought CK might explode as he seemed to go on for ages without a breath.