Spanish pro has set off on 1000km ride home after finishing Vuelta a España

Luis Ángel Maté is hoping the ride to Marbella will help him enjoy just riding his bike away from racing

Luis Ángel Maté at the Vuelta a España 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Spanish rider Luis Ángel Maté has set off on a ride of 1000km from Santiago de Compostela to his home in Marbella after racing the Vuelta a España 2021.

Maté, who rides for Spanish UCI ProTeam Euskaltel-Euskadi, completed his 10th Vuelta and his 16th Grand Tour in his long career, finishing 30th in the general classification.

But the 37-year-old has decided to set off on a 1000km ride to Marbella after riding over 3,500km in the Vuelta. 

>>> Gino Mäder gives £4000 to charity after pledging to donate for every rider he beat in Vuelta a España

In his Rouleur column, he said: "When I saw the the Vuelta was finishing in Santiago de Compostela, the idea of doing an adventure like this immediately sprang to mind."

He added that the 'Camino' pilgrimage from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela inspired him to attempt this ride and that he was still "hungry for more" calling his ride the 'Vuelta de la Vuelta'.

"It seemed a unique opportunity to be able to enjoy the bike in a different way to competition and all the stress, the braking, the crashes, the watts..."

This is seemingly becoming a trend in pro cycling after Tim Wellens and Thomas De Gendt (both Lotto-Soudal) both rode around 1000km home to Belgium after riding the Monument, Il Lombardia in 2018.

De Gendt and Wellens set off from northern Italy on and spent six days trekking across Europe.

The Lotto-Soudal hard men were set back by just two punctures during the week, the final one striking five kilometres from home.

After finishing what they dubbed ‘The Final Breakaway’, De Gendt said: “I’m happy to be home, but it has been a great adventure and a wonderful experience.

“Despite the luggage we carried on our bike, we still had an average speed of more than 30 kilometres per hour this week."

Maté set off on his ride on Monday, September 6, a day after finishing the Vuelta, and is now currently riding through Portugal with a friend. He has small bags on his Orbea bike as he stays in hotels throughout his ride.

"I've told myself I'll arrive by Saturday [September 11] at midday to have a dip in the sea and a meal at home," Maté said. 

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.