I know I'm a bit late to do a Vueta wrap, but I've gotta write something. It's one of the biggest cycling races in the world... one of the 'Big Three'. But to be honest with you, even if I wanted to do a complete wrap of Spain's premier road stage race - the Vuelta a Espana, I couldn't.
The truth is that it passed me by completely. And it seems I'm not the only one.
Everyone I have spoken to, friends and colleagues alike, have said the same thing. They just weren't interested. And many of my most frequented cycling websites have reported the same thing.
It's not like I didn't care at all, I still had to see who picked up the stage wins and I was keen to see if Bradley Wiggins could come back from a smashed collar bone in the Tour de France and take the win, but as for staying up late and watching the SBS coverage - forget it. Thing is... I don't know why.
Did we all have hangovers from one of most engaging TDF's in recent years? Did the lack of the big names have some impact? I mean, who the hell is Cobo anyway? Did the timing of USA Pro Cycling Challenge distract us? Or was it the course? Were the stages uninventive and boring? I know a few people have suggested that the lack of a decisive penultimate stage killed the excitement. And maybe, for us Aussies, it was the late start time of the coverage (11:30pm). That's way past my bedttime on a school night!
Whatever the reason, our lack of interest is a problem for Unipublic, the organising body. At a boom time for international cycling, there shouldn't be such a widespread lack of interest in one of our sports biggest races. The need to make adjustments and tweaks to ensure we are glued to our TV sets. If they cant attract the big names because they are all spent after the TDF - then delay the race a few weeks and offer more incentives for riders and teams. No one want to see the downfall of one of the pillars of cycling.
Anyhow - congratulations to Cobo. If we didn't know who he was before - we certainly do now. And we will all stand up and take notice of him from now on I'm sure! And, like me, he rides a Fuji!