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The Origin of the Loop

 
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The Cycle Loop was born with the goal of encouraging tourism linked with spots. We offer points of tourist information in very beautiful natural sites such as:

  • Sierra del Aramo (Mountain Range)
  • Las Ubiñas - La Mesa Natural Park
  • Vía Carisa
  • Mining Areas Protected Landscape

The Cycle Loop as a project

The project Cicle Loop of the Central Mountain (Montaña Cental) comes through an initiative conceived in the framwork of the Regional Programme for the Rural Development, Proder II, and was presented in July 2003.  The first aim was the start-up of a regional strategy which conceived the development of cycling as a territorial hallmark for the six councils of the Central Mountain (Montaña Central).

In this sense, the Central Mountain was a perfect place for cycling and cycle touring. Its orography, environmental quality and landscape riches, appart from its extensive tradition reflected on mountain passes that have passed into the history of this sport (L’Angliru, Pajares, San Isidro, La Cobertoria…) convert it into a destination of first grade for all the sport amateurs.

Then, it was thought the possibility of creating that hallmark which is linked to some elements, which were emerging in the regional outlook, such as rural tourism, and which could give rise to a new market niche capable of creating wealth in the region. Therefore, this enables the diversification of the productive system of the Central Mountain.

In a first stage, it was developed a work of planning and design of routes for road bikes, through a research carried out by the University of Oviedo, by means of its Cooperation and Territorial Development Centre (CeCodet) and for MTB, entrusted to the company La Productora. Both researches were published afterwards in two books which were titled ‘El ciclismo como marca territorial’ (CeCodet) and ‘El ciclismo como recurso turístico’ (La Productora).

Later, it was begun a work of analysis of other experiences in order to know other patterns of tourism promotion based on cycling. In this way, a delegation of the Rural Development of the Central Mountain Group travelled to Switzerland in 2006, in order to visualise the development of the Swiss Mobile project and its impact on the environment in terms of mobility and tourism development.

At the beginning of 2007 and under the motto “Anillo Activo” (‘Active Loop’), the Rural Development of the Central Mountain Group promoted the conference in Mieres Campus, where it was analysed the current and future tourism offer for the region and solutions were found with the purpose of turning the practice of a sport into a device of tourist attraction of first grade, based on cycling as main model, completed with the snow and alpinism. Its aim is to make known an unique integrated quality offer for playing sports and active tourism.

The event counted on the participation of elite athletes, eight-thousanders, World champions and sport journalists who swap experiences and ideas about the possibilities of the region as a tourist destination based on sports. Among others they counted with the mountaineers Edurne Pasabán, Juanito Oiarzabal and César Pérez de Tudela; the cyclists Abraham Olano, Chechu Rubiera and Samuel Sánchez or the driver Jordi Tarres; and the journalists Pedro Barthe (TVE) and Juanma Castaño (SER and Quatro). All of them agreed on the potencial of the region and welcomed the strategy of turning this region into a sports tourist destanation.

Once the researches mentioned before were finished, the proposal presented by the University of Oviedo was rejected since its strategy about road cycling was too complex to be carried out (adaptation of the roads, licences, riskiness...).

In this way, the old proposal for the MTB, designed by La Productora, is the one which takes shape and now is taken up by the programme Leader of the Central Mountain for the final project of the Cycle Loop of the Central Mountain of Asturias.

Due to this final bet, and during 2010, a delegation of the Local Action Group travelled to País Vasco. One of the aims was to know personally the running and value enhancemet strategy of the MTB Euskadi. That same year, they also visited the MTB experience in Cataluña. The above-mentioned visits met the expectations they had: Mountain biking is a tourist resource of first grade, with the capacity of generating activity directly proportional to the investment on it, and which is the essential structure of the region and is part of every kind of healthy and environmentally friendly activities.

It only remained carrying out the project physically, and the necessity of joining public and private forces for achieving its consolidation and metting the created expectations and making profitable the efforts that has been made during these years.