HAVANA, Cuba. - The 35th ‘Vuelta a Cuba’ annual cycling tour begins on Tuesday in the easternmost city of Baracoa with the participation of 10 foreign teams and 13 national squads that will cover 1,791 kilometers in 13 stages.
The foreign participation includes teams from Colombia, Mexico, Italy, Canada (Planet Energy), Germany (Club Saxonia), Spain (Peugeot), Holland (Global Cycling) and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the national squad from Venezuela and the ‘Escaladores de Mérida’ team from this South American nation.
Cuba will be represented by its national squad and by teams from the University of Physical Culture Sciences, the technical centers of Cienfuegos and Oriente, and nine provincial squads representing Pinar del Rio, Havana, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo.
The first stage of the contest will cover 153 kilometers from Baracoa to the city of Guantanamo. It includes two mountain primes in Palma Clara and Alto de Cotilla.
Last year’s event was dominated by Cuban Arnold Alcolea. On this occasion, he will have tough rivals such as teammates Joel Mariño and Damian Martinez, winner of the event in 2005, who returns to the competition after a few years of absence.