Algarve to become “Europe’s cycling training centre”

A brand new project to make the Algarve “Europe’s cycling training centre” was presented last week (February 5) by Portugal’s Cycling Federation (FPC).

According to FPC president Delmino Pereira, the Algarve ticks all the boxes to become a leading training centre for European cycling teams, as well as a hub for “bicycle touring”.

“The climate, the landscape, the lack of traffic, the variety of routes and the touristic offer are only some of the region’s qualities,” he said.

Entitled Ciclin’Portugal Algarve, the project plans “four major competitions” for the region – the 41st Volta ao Algarve (February 18-22); the Clássica Internacional Loulé Cidade Europeia do Desporto (March 1); the 25th Troféu Alpendre – Internacional do Guadiana (March 7-8) and the 7th GP Liberty Seguros – Troféu do Sudoeste e Costa Vicentina (March 21-22).

Thanks to these events, six foreign cycling teams are booked to train in the Algarve for a whole month, the FPC president highlighted.

The project also hopes to create a cycling manual about the Algarve, full of information which can then be sent to Europe’s cycling federations and professional teams.

RTA vows to promote cycling
Meantime, Algarve tourism boss Desidério Silva has announced his commitment to promoting “cycling and bicycle touring” in the Algarve.

“We are a training ground for top football teams – such as the English and Dutch national teams in 2014 – but we also want to excel in cycling,” the RTA president said.

According to Silva, the cycling events organised by Cyclin’Portugal Algarve will help fight the region’s scourge of seasonality.

“The events take place in February – exactly the time when the Algarve has fewer tourists”, he explained.

Photo: Portuguese cyclist Rui Costa (Lampre Merida) during the Volta ao Algarve in February last year
Photo by: LUIS FORRA/LUSA