The first heartbeats of La Vuelta 24 will come from the heart of Portugal. Lisbon will host the events taking place in the days leading up to the race. The individual time trial will then depart from one of its emblems, the Jerónimos Monastery, which will officially launch the race. At that moment, it will become the first non-Spanish city to host the Grand Departure of La Vuelta twice, having already done so in 1997.
Today, 27 years later, Lisbon continues to be a city that combines both history and modernity, where the remains of its brilliant past come together with the vibrant lifestyle of a city that enjoys almost 300 days of sunshine per year. From the National Museum of Ancient Art to the National Tile Museum, every corner is steeped in art and history. Bohemian quarters, such as Alfama and Barrio Alto, offer fados at every turn to make passers-by fall in love.
The life of the Portuguese capital is very closely linked to its relationship with the Tajo River and its estuary. This river course marks the outline for one of the city’s most important bike lanes that connects the port to the historical areas through a 20 km route. This is just one of the many arteries that make up the city’s bike lane network, allowing visitors to access such places as the Campo Grande gardens and the Eduardo VII Park.
With the Grand Departure of La Vuelta 24, Portugal will again ooze cycling from every pore, showcasing its vast experience in cycling events. In 1997 Lisbon was a pioneer, becoming the very first foreign city to host a La Vuelta Grand Departure. Then, 4 years later (in 2001), it was the headquarters for the World Championships, where Spanish rider Óscar Freire emerged victorious. Now, Lisbon, Oeiras and Cascais will, for a few days, be the global cycling epicentre.