The Vuelta, the Tour de France and the Purito: cycling and bike races in Andorra

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The Vuelta, the Tour de France and the Purito: cycling and bike races in Andorra

Mountainous country with exceptional passes and a beautifully maintained road network, the Principality is a fertile ground for the organization of bike races and cycling competitions. In Andorra, in the summertime, the Vuelta, the Tour de France and the Purito cyclotourist regularly criss-cross the territory’s itineraries.

The Tour de France and its history with the Principality

It was in 1964 that the Tour de France, the most famous bike race, crossed Andorra for the first time. On nine occasions, arrivals or departures of stage were given on this real land of cycling. Andorra, it must be admitted, offers sumptuous mountain courses that are very often the scene of Homeric jousts! The story was repeated in 1993, 1997, 2009 and 2016.

Mythical passes

The 4 cities that hosted the Tour de France are: Andorra la Vella, Andorra-Arcalis, Pal, and Escaldes-Engordany. The most frequently used passes helped to shape the beautiful hours of the event, first of all the Port of Envalira, the Pas de la Casa, the Col de Beixalis, the Comella, the Port of Ordino or the Pal.

The winners in the Principality

Here is the list of winners cyclists in Andorra.

1964 : Julio Jimenez
1993 : Oliveiro Rincon
1997 : Jan Ullrich
2009 : Brice Feillu
2016 : Tom Dumoulin

The Vuelta

With the Tour de France and the Giro, the Vuelta, Tour of Spain, is one of the three most important bike races in the World. In Andorra, locals are accustomed to welcome this emblematic event of twenty stages. It borrows very often the roads of the Principality and attracts an impressive crowd of spectators every time for a beautiful cycling festival.

In recent years, the Vuelta has been welcomed in Andorra in 1998, 1999, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

A must-see cycling and bike races event in Andorra

The last time the Vuelta stormed into Andorra, the land of cycling, was in the summer of 2018. Located at 2000 meters altitude, the Nordic ski resort and adventure park Naturlandia welcomed the 19th stage, won by the French climber of the FDJ, Thibaut Pinot.

A Spaniard wins in Andorra!

The next day, the riders of the peloton left Escaldes-Engordany to cross 4,000 meters of elevation gain and cross the passes of Comella, Beixalis Ordino and Gallina, before reaching the finish line at the Sanctuary from Canolich. The Spanish rider Enric Mas won at the end of that fantastic day.

The Purito, for the promotion of bike race and cycling in Andorra

Created a few years ago, the Purito is a cycling race that took place in August in Andorra. It has already built a solid reputation and brings together cyclists from all over Europe in a festive and joyful atmosphere.

This major cycling event in Andorra was born at the initiative of former Spanish champion Joaquim Rodriguez, better known as Purito Rodriguez. Andorran resident, the latter is particularly involved in the development of cycling in Andorra. He mobilized his skills and his network to organize a big annual day around the bicicles.

3 events on the program

The Andorran bike race Purito offers three options of courses to choose from so that all enthusiasts can participate according to their physical means:

  • The Purito 1.7, which takes place on a course of 28 km and has a positive altitude difference of 1,700 meters (Col de la Comella), between Sant Julia de Loria and Les Cortals d’Encamp;
  • The Purito 3.5, 80 km and 3, 500 meters of elevation gain (Cols de La Rabassa and the Comella), between Sant Julia de Loria and Les Cortals d’Encamp, through the capital, Andorra la Vella;
  • The Purito 5.2 and its 145km and 5, 200 meters of elevation that uses the passes of Beixalís, Ordino, Rabassa, Gallina and Comella. An entire program!

Cycling and family bike race in Andorra

Cycling and bike race in Andorra is also possible with the Purito! Budding cyclists aged 5 to 14 can ride a small course specially adapted to their means. Parents are obviously invited to encourage them!

That is all about the cycling and the main bike races in Andorra. In addition, the Principality offers the practice of a multitude of other sports, first of all skiing and snow disciplines or golf. In this regard, Set Up, Private Concierge Specialist in expatriation in Andorra, accompanies high level athletes during their installation in the country. We are also happy to advise all people on different topics: obtaining residency status, finding accommodation, starting a business, formalities in social organizations, daily help, etc. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information!

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