Vuelta cyclists ‘set sail’ from aircraft carrier

The third stage of the Tour of Spain got off to a cruising start on Monday as cyclists set off from on board a massive aircraft carrier at the southern Spanish port city of Cádiz.

Vuelta cyclists 'set sail' from aircraft carrier
The pack ride past the Aircraft carrier "Juan Carlos I" at Cadiz harbour. Photo: José Jordan/AFP

Minutes before they embarked on a 198-kilometre voyage to the white-walled Andalusian town of Arcos de la Frontera, some of ‘La Vuelta’ cyclists posed with fighter planes and navy gear.

Then it was time to get the third stage of the 69th edition of Spain’s Tour underway.

Cyclists sped down the ramp of Spain’s biggest aircraft carrier, named after the country’s former King Juan Carlos, and pedalled along Cádiz’s port before hitting the road.

It’s not the first time ‘La Vuelta’ organizers have opted to stage part of the races in original locations.

Previous editions have seen cyclists start from everywhere from Formula One race courses to fishing boats, go over the finish line in Pamplona’s emblematic bull ring and even take on time trials at night through the streets of Seville.

As for Monday’s race, Australian rider Michael Matthews was victorious after an exhilarating sprint finish with Irishman Dan Martin and Spaniard Joaquín Rodríguez.

The 23-year-old ‘Aussie’ also took the overall race lead after crossing the line after 5h 12min and 14 sec. 

Do you like cycling? Get on your bike and check out these 10 amazing rides around Spain

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VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.


In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.