The First ‘Gran Fondo, Costa de Almería’ cycle race, held last weekend in Mojácar, proved to be a resounding success, pleasing organizers and participants alike.
The unanimous opinion was that this event is going to become one of the best on the Spanish calendar, as a well as a very important rival to the most prestigious international cycling challenges. With perfect organization overall, coupled with the fabulous scenic route, it could well be set to become a higher category race.
All this however, has not just happened on its own, as Mojácar Tourism Councillor Emmanuel Agüero Leclerc, pointed out the ten years of background work that has gone on to bring this event to fruition in the town.
Cyclists from all over Europe are already familiar with Mojácar and the Costa de Almería, which has come about over the years by the town’s presence at the most important international fairs, improving and building up cycling for tourists, with a clear vision of developing sports tourism as an important formula to fight seasonality.
Through the joint efforts of the Mojácar’s Servigroup hotel group, the prestigious sports company Kortwerg, Velofutur; Mojácar Council and Almería Provincial Council, between February and May, 1,200 cyclists, mainly from Holland and the Netherlands stayed in the area for a week.
This first Gran Fondo Costa de Almería attracted an outstanding amount of foreign athletes, with almost 50% of the 190 runners coming from other European countries. The winner in the male category was Daniel Kogan from the UK, who took nearly 6 hours to complete the 208 km test with its 3,680 metres of altitude. On finishing he praised the top notch organization, spectacular route, as well as the great road safety. In the female category, Els Maes, gained first position.
Now, only a few days after the completion of this winning event, details for next year are already being drawn up. Emmanuel Agüero is clear about the importance of continuing with these projects and collaborating with the hotel sector as well as taking advantage of the Provincial Council’s support, saying “this is a joint task with the aim of breaking seasonality and consolidating the good results that are beginning to open new doors in the tourism sector.”
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