On the morning of this Saturday, August 20, Monesterio hosted the thirteenth edition of one of the most important promotional events of the local brand: the ‘Jamón de Monesterio’ Cycle Tourist Route, promoted by the municipal cycling club ‘Corona Chica Piñón Grande’. ‘. Its particularity, atmosphere and organization have turned it into a benchmark sporting event that this year has brought together more than 200 participants from different corners of the national geography.
The ‘Jamón de Monesterio’ is a non-competitive road test that runs through the places of the Tentudía region. Departing and arriving at the Monesterio Multipurpose Pavilion, it covers a total distance of 89 kilometers, also passing through the towns of Pallares, Montemolín, Cabeza la Vaca and Calera de León. In the words of its organizers, it is a “medium-distance with grand-distance overtones” route for which it is necessary to be physically prepared. Its profile, with a gradient of more than 1900 meters, makes it a “leg-breaking” test.
Three things make this race unique: the provisioning, the spectacular landscapes it crosses and the climb to the highest peak in Badajoz. At 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, the race left a spectacular image of the peloton as it crossed the town, leaving the Multipurpose Pavilion in the direction of Santa Olalla along the N-630. Next, it entered Culebrín and then headed towards Pallares, Montemolín and Calera de León, in that order. Then came one of the most anticipated and hardest moments of cycling: the climb to Tentudía. At the top, a ham cutter was waiting for the participants to offer them the most special supplies. With the batteries recharged, the platoon went down to Cabeza la Vaca, and then returned through Calera de León to the finish line, in Monesterio. And eat more ham again.
This Saturday was a cycle tour that also included the participation of some renowned cyclists. Some who were able to attend and others who supported the event from a distance through videos. Pedro Delgadowinner of the 1988 Tour de France and the 1985 and 1989 La Vuelta España; Roberto Heraschampion of the fourth Vuelta España; Tungui Bowl, specialist in Mountain Ultramarathon; O Antonio Piedra, winner of the queen stage Vuelta España 2012 Lagos de Covadonga, were some of them. He also wanted to support the event through a video Javier Guillén, General Director of La Vuelta Ciclista España. For his part, Sergio Garrotethe world gold medalist in the adapted cycling time trial with roots in Monesterio, was the ambassador of this thirteenth edition.
Despite it being a non-competitive test, the organization distributed, as is traditional, some awards. The largest team and the one from the most distant origins, as well as the oldest and youngest cyclists, were presented with an Iberian shoulder.
The fastest runners on the climb to Tentudía, in a four-kilometer stretch designated by the organization with an average gradient of 7.7% and ramps exceeding 13%, also had a prize. Félix Vázquez, with a time of 11:48 and a speed of 20.8 kilometers per hour; and Ana Dillana, with a time of 16:40 and an average speed of 14.7 kilometers per hour, were the winners. They both received an Iberian shoulder.
This year’s route has been even more special for two reasons. For him I remember the cyclist Pablo Jesús Martín and for him Passage of La Vuelta Ciclista España through Tentudía.
Before the peloton crossed the starting line, a minute of silence was observed in memory of this resident of Fuentes de León who was run over last March while riding a bicycle. His family displayed a banner that read “We want justice. “It wasn’t an accident.” A gesture with which they wanted, in addition to supporting Pablo Jesús’s family, to continue with the demands that ‘Corona Chica Piñón Grande’ already started in 2021 to demand security “through greater signage and traffic controls.”
For its part, the peloton of the thirteenth edition of the ‘Jamón de Monesterio’ cycle touring race climbed Tentudía just a few days before the professional peloton of La Vuelta Ciclista España 2022. The seventeenth stage of the competition will run through the same places, also culminating at the top of this mountain.
This XIII ‘Jamón de Monesterio’ Cycle Tourist Route recreated a day of coexistence, sport and good eating that took place without incident. Everything to join forces and continue betting on the identity brand of the town.