THE Almeria Cycling Classic was an all-round triumph.
Sunday’s exciting race attracted leading international competitors and was broadcast live on Eurosport to 40 different countries.
This was the 23rd edition of what is now a top level sports event. Among the 18 teams taking part were some of the world’s best, including Spain’s Movistar, the Australian Mitchelton-Scott, Cofidis from France, Katusha from Switzerland, the German Bora-Hansgrohe, Rally UHC Cycling from the US and the Russian Gazprom.
Cyclists battled it out over a tough 192-kilometre route. Starting in Almeria city and ending in Roquetas de Mar, they went through Viator, Rioja, Tabernas, the Filabres mountains, Uleila del Campo, Cuesta Blanca, Sorbas, Lucainena de las Torres, the Alhamilla mountains and Turrillas.
German rider Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was first across the finishing line following a hard-fought final sprint, closely followed by compatriot Marcel Kittel (Team Katusha-Alpecin). Slovenian Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) took third place on the podium.
“We wanted the race to continue crossing borders, and we achieved that”, said Almeria Council President Javier A. Garcia in reference to the TV coverage.
The provincial council head described Almeria as a “reference point” for cycling and an ideal training location for teams, adding, “We are going to continue working to consolidate our province as a leading cycling destination at European and world level.”