Story of a President

The legacy Luis Puig - Velodrom in Valencia

The death of Luis Puig in 1990, at the age of 75, prevented him from enjoying events and historical successes of cycling and Spanish sport in general, to which he really contributed for its development. However, the legacy of one of the most influential international sports leaders of his time is still present and his memory remains in the memory of the cycling fans.

The Luis Puig Trophy was for decades one of the most prestigious one day race of the cycling calendar. Created in 1969 as a Grand Prix of Valencia, it was renamed in 1981 in honor of the Federative of l´Alcudia, who that year had ascended to the Presidency of the UCI. The race was held until 2005, when it was cancelled due to the loss of sponsorship. Its winners include figures such as Bernard Hinault, Laurent Jalabert, Mario Cipollini, Erik Zabel and Oscar Freire.

The legacy Luis Puig UCI - Velodrom in Valencia
Luis Puig en el Tour de Francia como Presidente de la UCI

From the presidency of the UCI, Puig got his beloved Valencia to organize the World Championships of Cycling of 1992, which would not witness finally. The Valencian institutions agreed that the modern Sports Pavilion that was built for the occasion, with capacity for 6,000 spectators, should be baptized as Velodromo Luis Puig Palace. The venue has also hosted the European Indoor Athleticsof 1998, the European Swimming short of 2000 and the 2008 World Indoor Athletics.

The Valencian leader couldn´t enjoy the historic climax of Spanish sport neither: the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992, in which Valencia was one of the sub-headquarters. Puig was for many years a member of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE), and he could not celebrate at home the 22 medals that still make the best participation of Spain in the Games. From the thirteen gold medals won by the Spanish Olympic team, one went to Jose Manuel Moreno, Olympic champion in track cycling of 1km time trial mode.

A year before the Olympics, Miguel Indurain had inaugurated the most laureate stage in the history of Spanish cycling. The 21st of July of 1991, the cyclist from Navarra first climbed to the drawer of the podium on the Champs Elysees in Paris, something that he would repeat in the next four editions of the Tour de France. The five consecutive wins of Indurain rose cycling to a central position in the Spanish sports scene. The challenge that Luis Puig pursued since the beginning of his career had really fulfilled.

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