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ITV4 to show Vuelta live - but BBC to air only brief highlights of Olympic test event

Spanish Grand Tour coverage confirms channel's commitment to cycling...

Cycling fans in the UK who don’t have a subscription to Eurosport won’t miss out on this year’s third Grand Tour, with the news that free-to-air channel ITV4 will be broadcasting live coverage of the Vuelta, which starts with a team time trial in Benidorm a week on Saturday.

Earlier this year, the channel revealed that it planned to show more cycling, and confirmation it is showing the Vuelta demonstrates that it is keeping that promise. The news comes shortly after ITV4 revealed that nearly 1 million viewers had tuned into the channel to watch Mark Cavendish win the green jersey in the Tour de France.

All stages of the 66th edition of the Spanish Grand Tour will be shown live, reports the website

A quick look at the online ITV programme guide confirms that the opening stage of the Vuelta will be shown on the channel on Saturday 20 August from 4pm to 6pm, with coverage of the following day’s Stage 2 scheduled from 2.45pm to 5pm.

Meanwhile also reports that the same weekend, BBC will be showing brief highlights of this Sunday’s Olympic test event, the London-Surrey Cycle Classic, in a special programme focusing on Olympic sports, presented by Clare Balding.

The programme, called Olympic Countdown, will run from 1pm to 5pm on Sunday 21 August, with the road race highlights running from 1.55-2.15pm, followed by coverage of the BMX test event.

There’s no news as yet of any potential online or red button coverage of the event through the BBC.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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