This local Valencian event was hosted for the first time in November 6, 1929 under the name of “Vuelta a Levante”. The historical first stage started from Valencia and ended at Vila-real, totalling 180 kilometers. The winner of this stage was a Valencian cyclist named Salvador Cardona, who also proclaimed the stage 2 win the following day, by finishing first the longest stage of the event a 206 kilometer route from Villa-Real to Algemesí. Cardona, who finished 4th in the 1927 edition of the Tour, was the leader from the first day until the end. He won the overall category, in addition to the fourth and final stage win from Alicante to Valencia. The podium was completed by Valeriano Riera and Juan Mateu. The year after, another legendary Spanish cyclist, Mariano Cañardo, occupied the dominating leaders position of this race. This time, disputed at earlier dates from 5 to 12 October, and consisting of six stages, two more stages than in the first edition. Cañardo won three of the stages and was the leader from the first day until the end. The first stage of “La Volta” was raced from Valencia to Alicante and the last stage from Vinarós to Valencia.
During the Second Spanish Republic era, “La Volta” was held again at a later date, in November, and reached a total of eight stages. Cañardo won the last three consecutive stages while the Basque, Federico Ezquerra, took the overall victory. Ezquerra also won three other stages, and like the previous winners of the event, was the overall leader every day. The tradition of having Valencia as the starting location for the first stage and the finishing location for the last stage was maintained. The organization of the 1932 edition changed the race dates to as early as September, and for the first time, the leader of the race changed during the event. Mariano Cañardo’s leader jersey was successfully challenged by Ricardo Montero during the third stage when just a day before Cañardo had challenged it from Montero. At the end, the victory went to the cyclist from Avila, Montero. In 1933 “La Volta” was held during the same month as the year before, from September 16 to 24 concluding nine stages in total. This time there was a dominating leader, a Valencian cyclist Senyera Antonio Escuriet, who not only won one stage but was the leader from the second stage to the last. Other stage winners during 1933 race were Cardona, Cañardo and Ezquerra, previous winners of “La Volta”. In 1934 the race was renamed into “Vuelta a la Región Valenciana” and reduced into four stages, with the overall race winner being Federico Ezquerra, who also won the first and the last stage.

6 years interruption

After 1934 “La Volta” was interrupted for 6 years, coinciding with the times before and after the Civil War. The bicycles were back on our roads on September 5, 1940. The opening stage was held from Valencia to Alicante, totalling 183 kilometers. Again, the winner was Federico Ezquerra. He was the leader from start to the finish, in an edition that included for the first time a 66 km individual time trial stage from Castellón to Valencia. In 1941 the race was not held, but in 1942 the race was won by Julián Berrendero’s epic triumph. Berrendero won the first stage, a route of 238 kilometres from Valencia to Alcoi, and was the overall winner of an edition that featured four stages. The race consolidated during the difficult years of the forties, maintaining the name of “Vuelta a la Región Valenciana”, but with a continuous change of race dates year after year. In 1943 the race was disputed between July, 27 and August, 1 with an overall winner of Antonio Andrés Sancho. The following year the race was held in October and the overall winner was Antonio Martín. In 1943 a race novelty of including two sectors for the final stage, Ayora-Raquena ,and Raquena-Valencia, was introduced.
Along the second half of the forties the race was held in October and the main dominators were Joaquín Olmos, Delio Rodríguez, Bernardo Ruiz and Emilio Rodríguez. The 1949 edition was won by Joaquín Filba. He dominated the race, winning four stages and being the leader of the six-day race event. After Filba’s 1949 win the event faced yet again an interruption. Five years later, in 1954, the event returns to the racing schedule with its original name “Vuelta a Levante”, and is being held from September, 29 to October, 3. The overall winner was a local cyclist, Salvador Botella. The following year the race is moved to May and it contained 10 stages, being the longest edition in its history. Also, it included a novelty of crossing the geographical boundaries of the Valencian Community, reaching locations like Cartagena, Murcia ,and Albacete. Locations and areas where some stages were already hosted in 1933. The winner of the 1954 edition was a Catalan, Francisco Masip. A year later René Marigil, a cyclist from Sagunto, occupied the winners position on a race held at the beginning of March. A unique characteristic of the 1955 event was introducing the urban circuit of Valencia, being the final stage and ending just before the Fallas (a popular festive event in Valencia). A year later, the tradition of the race was interrupted and the Volta started from Algemesí and not from Valencia, that hosted the end of the last stage. Another legendary Spanish cyclist from Orihuela, Bernardo Ruiz, takes the final victory on a very competitive edition in which there were six different leaders in nine days.

First foreign victories

From the 1958 two important facts stand out: “La Vuelta a Levante” starts from an urban circuit of Madrid and for the first time the stage victory goes to a foreign ­cyclist. The Belgians sweep the podiums of 1958 edition with the overall victory going to the legendary Rik Van Looy. During the 1958 Van Looy won three stages in total: the Madrid urban circuit (stage one), the road racing route of stage three, and the last stage that was the Valencia urban circuit. Other Belgium cyclists were winners in four other stages of this edition. Also, the podium of the first Team Time Trial held in the history of this event was won by a Belgian team in Albacete. In 1959 the fifties era was seen off with another overall victory by Rik Van Looy. In 1960 the Spaniards returned to dominate the race with the victory of Fernando Manzane. The team Faema occupied the podium as the first commercial cycling team that won the Team Time Trial, disputed on a route that started and finished on an urban circuit in Valencia. Salvador Botella wins the edition a year later, and Manzaneque returns to the podium in 1962. An edition that started with a spectacular Team Time Trial stage raced in the velodrome of Nules, a village with an elevated number of cycling supporters.
Spanish cyclists dominate the race as consecutive podiums winners after 1962 by famous cycling legends such as Martín Colemenarejo, Gómez del Moral, Pérez Francés and the Valencian cyclist Angelino Soler who, up to that date, occupies the position of the youngest winner of “La Vuelta a España” after conquering it in 1960. The last Spanish podium winner of the event is Mariano Díaz, winning the 1968 edition. A year later, four cyclists finish the event with equal overall standings and at the same time. The victory was awarded to Eddy Merckx, as he was the winner of three consecutive stages. He was accompanied to the podium by Lopez Rodriguez, Gabriel Mascaró and Jaime Fullana. Another curiosity of the 1968 edition was that it started from Elche and ended in Vila-real. The city of Valencia only hosted the start of the fifth stage that finished in Benicàssim.
Vuelta al Levante 1969 – Perurena gana a Merckx
In the 70s, the dates of “La Volta” are settled between February and March while podiums continue to be dominated by Spanish cyclists such as Ventura Díaz, López Rodríguez, Perurena ,and González Linares. The cycling team Kas experiences its years of splendor, having a powerful team of cyclists like the Asturian, José Manuel Fuente, second in the overall standings in 1973. The following year, history is written by the first Italian podium celebration by Marcello Bergamo. Afterwards the victories are celebrated by Aja and López Carril, and the Swede Bernt Johansson engraving his name as the winner of the 1977 edition, the last edition that was organized under the name of “Vuelta a Levante”. While in 1978 the event was not celebrated, mainly due to political changes in the country, the name was changed and “Vuelta a las Tres Provincias” was introduced. In the new edition of the event, another great Valencian cyclist was introduced: Vicente Belda, winner of the overall standing and principal rival to the Belgian cyclist Noel Dejonckhere who wins in all five stages. This small cyclist from Cocentaina took a spectacular win with a difference on a stage that finished in his own town. Germany is another nationality that enters the list of overall winners with the victory of Thaler in 1980 and Raymond Dietzen in 1983. In the years between the overall winners were, the ill-fated Alberto Fernández in 1981 and Pedro Muñoz in 1982.

Volta a la Comunitat

The 1984 edition was the first event celebrated with the name of “Volta Ciclista a la Comunitat Valenciana”. After one year of absence, in 1986 the event initiates it’s new era with more stable dates in the racing schedule, attracting the best cyclists in the world to join the event that now has significant institutional and economic support. A Frenchman, Bruno Cornillet, takes the victory in 1984 and two years later he is succeeded by his compatriot Bernard Hinault and the impressive Honor Roll of Sean Kelly, Greg Le Mond, Kneteman, not forgetting Pedersen and the Spaniards Blanco Villar and Gastón among others. In 1987, Stephen Roche wins the dramatic edition of the event, due to a huge snowfall. After winning “Volta to the Comunitat Valenciana”, Roche won the Giro and the Tour, after winning a fierce battle with Perico Delgado. Eventually, Roche finished the year by winning the Road Cycling World Championship. The overall victory of 1988 was claimed by the Swiss Erich Mächler, Pello Ruiz-Cabestany becomes the first Spaniard to register his name in 1989 as the overall winner in this event celebrated with its new name. Not forgetting to mention that 1989 the race fought against difficult weather elements, like huge gales causing great damage, and even some fatalities. In 1990, a country with a huge cycling tradition, Holland claimed their first overall winner of the race by Tom Cordes, while Melcior Mauri scored the next two editions before Julián Gorospe’s triumph in 1994. At that time, Spain was totally overwhelmed with Miguel Induráin’s achievements. Miguel finished 3rd and 2nd in the 1993 and 1994 editions. Other big names like Breukink, Zülle, Bontempi, Ekimov or Romminger appeared among the top ten of the general standings list during the first half of the nineties that closed with the triumph of the Swiss, Alex Zülle in 1995. Zülle won an edition in which no Spaniard scored for any stage victory, something that had happened in 1992 and would repeat again in 1997 and 1998. Foreigners predominance continued with the French Laurent Jalabert (1996) and Pascal Chanteu (1998), and the cyclist from Ukraine Alexander Vinokourov (1999), only discontinued by Juan Carlos Domínguez in 1997 and by Abraham Olano in 2000.

XXI century

The new century started with Swiss domination after Alex Zülle occupied the podium once again in 2002, taking over the 2001 overall winners position from Fabian Jeker. In fact, during the 2002 edition, not a single stage victory was recorded by a Spanish cyclist. After the Swiss dominance, the overall victories went to Italian cyclists, Dario Frigo (2003) and Alessandro Petacchi (2005). Alejandro Valverde broke that streak in 2004, and three years later he repeated the win, at the time when the race was again dominated by Spanish cyclists. Also, for the first time, the regional television channel Canal 9 offered live broadcasts to its viewers throughout the event. An edition of five stages with departure and arrival programmed at Alzira during the first stage and that concluded with the traditional urban stage in Valencia.
Despite the economic problems, the organization by then was able to run the 2008 edition from the first stage to the last, held between February, 26 and March,1. The stage victories of the 2008 event was claimed by Iván Gutiérrez during the first stage, disputed in Sagunto and by the Italian Danilo Napolitano during the final stage held in Valencia. The first classified of the overall category and the winner of the Volta to the Comunitat Valenciana was Rubén Plaza, a cyclist from a village close to Alicante, Ibi. After 2008 the event suffered eight years of absence, but in 2016 it was once again celebrated with the sole aim of consolidating and recovering the brilliance and relevance of previous eras.