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Spain’s economic woes derail Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana

Spain’s economic problems have torpedoed efforts to revive the five-day Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana.

After a two-year hiatus, organizers had hoped to bring back the popular, early season race next year, but record unemployment and Spain’s sputtering economy undercut efforts to secure financial backing to hold the event held in February.

“During the past several months we have worked to bring forward the race, one of the most prestigious at the national level, and even though we found solutions, the budget didn’t come together as we had hoped in order to organize a race at the professional level,” race director Francisco Antequera Alabau said Thursday.

The race dates back to the 1920s and was once of the most popular early season races, especially among sprinters attracted to the mostly flat terrain, smooth roads and spring-like weather. Regional government agencies pulled support for the race in 2008, spelling its demise in 2009.

Earlier this year, race organizers were confident they could revive the event in time to return to its traditional spot in February for the 2011 racing calendar.

Antequera Alabau said they will continue to try to bring back the race in 2012.

The Valenciana tour is among several Spanish races that have struggled in the past several years. Other storied events that date back decades have been cancelled, including Setmana Catalana, the Vuelta a Aragon, the Vuelta a Rioja, the Trofeo Luis Puig and the Euskal Bizikleta.

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