During the start of the tenth stage of the Vuelta Ciclista a España, the mayor of Elche has demanded the return of the bust of the Lady of Elche to its city of origin as currently it remains in the National Archaeological Museum (MAN) of Madrid.
A large bust of the Lady presided over the Altamira Palace, in the historic centre, from where the individual time trial of the Vuelta Ciclista started last Tuesday, travelling from Elche itself to the city of Alicante.
In statements to journalists, the mayor of Elche, Carlos González, said that Elche will “always” claim the return of the Iberian bust to “the city where it was sculpted and found” 125 years ago now.
He went on to say, that with the departure of the Vuelta Ciclista from Elche, the aim is to “project to the world” the heritage values of the city, “and say that we are the city of the Lady and we consider it’s placement in Madrid as only temporary”.
The mayor also highlighted the joy from the emotional and sporting point of view of hosting the time trial because Elche is today “world capital of cycling”.
He said that beyond the social and economic impact of the Vuelta, the departure from Elche provides “national and international visibility”, a showcase, he said, for the promotion of the city.
Meanwhile, in the time trial itself, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) took the stage win he was looking for with an impressive performance in the individual time trial from Elche to Alicante. At 55.7km/h, the Belgian star dominated everyone, including Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), 2nd on the day with a gap of 48’’ after 30.9km.
Evenepoel is the first rider to beat Roglic in an ITT of La Vuelta. He increased his lead at the top of the GC standings, 2’40’’ ahead of Roglic and 3’03’’ ahead of Enric Mas (Movistar).
He is also the first Belgian rider to win an ITT stage of La Vuelta since Fons De Wolf in Valladolid in 1979. Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke won the prologue in Benidorm in 1987.