The first time Canals hosted the VCV was in 1961, with victory for the Catalan Miguel Poblet. In 2017, the town of La Costera was the start of stage 3, with victory for the Danish sprinter Magnus Cort at the finish in Riba-roja del Turia.
Canals is a town with a large cycling tradition. This past 2023 marked the 41st edition of the Bicycle Day, a day to promote cycling and sustainable mobility in the municipality. It also hosts basic cycling events such as the Envases Arándiga Trophy for schools.
Canals is a town with a cycling tradition. This past 2023 saw the 41st edition of the Bicycle Day, a day to promote cycling and sustainable mobility in the municipality. It also hosts basic cycling events such as the Envases Arándiga Trophy for schools.
One of the most renowned cyclists in the 1960s was Juan García Such. In 1964 he was runner-up in the world team time trial championship held in France. This success allowed him to take part in the Tour de France and the Tour of Spain, but his greatest achievement was his participation in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 64. Thanks to this, he carried the Olympic torch at the Barcelona 92 Games.
Javier Benítez made his debut in the professional category in 2005 with the Relax Fuenlabrada team, passing through Nicolás Mateos, Benfica and Contempolis. In his career, Benítez has won stages in Vuelta a Extremadura, Alentejo, Agostinho and Chihuahua.
Another outstanding cyclist is the young Sergio Domínguez, Spanish champion in individual time trial and junior champion of the Comunitat Valenciana in individual time trial.
In Canals there are two consolidated cycling clubs, the Unión Ciclista El Piñón and the cycling club La Forca (Aiacor). Throughout their long history, both have organised numerous events and competitions, contributing to the dissemination of the sport and the training of young cyclists. In fact, La Forca is the birthplace of emerging cyclists such as Hugo Carsi, Fede Ibars, Miguel Calatayud, Abril Padilla and Izán López, all of them champions in their different categories.
The textile industry was king in Canals for decades, making the town of La Costera a national reference in the sector. Agriculture, specifically the production of oranges, is nowadays the driving force of the economy of Canals, together with industries such as footwear, marble and stone masonry.
In this sense, the best-known textile company in the town, Ferrys, created a professional cycling team during the years 1960-1968. During its existence, they took part in the Tour of Spain, the Giro d’Italia (61 and 62) and the Tour de France (63-65). Ferrys reached its peak in 1965, equalling teams of the stature of Kas and Fagor. Among the cyclists who stood out were Fernando Manzaneque (1963) and José Pérez Francés (1965), both winners of stages in the Tour de France.
The Fiestas of Sant Antoni Abat, in January, are the highlight of the year in the town, with the burning of the largest bonfire in the world on the 16th. At the same time, the day of the “els parells” is celebrated, where the festeros hand out thousands of toys mounted on horses all over the streets of the town. The Borgia Route is another great cultural and tourist attraction in Canals. Pope Calixtus III, Alfonso de Borja, was born in the Torreta de Canals. The tower where his birth took place is still preserved today and has been declared a site of cultural interest.
Canals saw the birth in 1952 of one of the most important sportsmen in the history of the Comunitat Valenciana, Ricardo Tormo. A pioneer of motorcycling in Spain, he was 50cc world champion in 1978 and 1981. He died in 1998 due to leukaemia. The Cheste Circuit, which has hosted a MotoGP Grand Prix since 1999, bears his name as a tribute.
Baked rice is the star dish of the gastronomy of Canals. Also well known are the traditional Sant Antoni (Saint Anthony’s Day) pastries and the broad beans with mint during the Torreta de Canals festivities.