By Andrew Hood
The Vuelta a España already has a new director.
Victor Cordero, who is stepping down at the end of this season as the head of the Spanish tour, is making way for Javier Guillén.
Guillén has been the secretary general at the Vuelta for the past five years and will help steer the season’s third grand tour into the future.
Earlier this year, the Amaury Sport Organization (owners of the Tour de France, Paris-Nice and other major races) bought 49 percent of the race.
Cordero said that the purchase will help the business side of the Spanish tour, but won’t result in any visible changes for fans.
“The French are going to help us look for international sponsors and help us emit TV images worldwide, something that’s already happening with this Vuelta,” Cordero said. “In terms of organization or how the race is run, nothing is expected to change.”
Cordero said he agrees that the Vuelta could be shortened, but only by two or three days, and that a return of the Vuelta to the spring could be in the works.
“The Vuelta will never be two weeks long because it’s a race of resistance, but a race of resistance could be 18 or 19 days, even though this won’t happen before 2011 because the international calendars are already decided through 2010,” he said. “Changes to the calendar will have to see a return of the Vuelta to April. It’s something that we’re already talking about with the Giro and Tour to have the three grand tours between April and July. Riders won’t be able to make three grand tours in one year, but still at least two of them.”