Vuelta al País Vasco 2016

From: Alasdair Fotheringham, with collaboration of various other journalists
Country: Spain/UK
General: Information available on the website/accreditation: Straightforward, once you had worked out that the actual website is, which is not what is indicated on the UCI website as the race website, which is a different web address altogether.

Signposting to the Accreditation centre: Fine.
Race live-ticker: generally very good

Routebook: Very good, apart from a failure to put the distance between team buses and the finishes and the team buses and the signing on area. Apparently some press rooms addresses were not marked, though, only as a photo!
Working conditions at the start: good in general, although parking for journalists very variable. In Orio it was non-existent.
Working conditions at the finish: generally somewhere between poor and very poor. No separate media tent, no tvs we could watch, security staff who clearly had no idea how journalists work….
Signposting in general: mixed,but worse than other years.
Parking at the finish: non-existent most days, or when it did, the signposting was not good.
Pressroom:  generally well organised, and friendly. However, on the second last stage, the summit finish at Arrate, rather than the usual pressroom right at the the summit, they moved the press room to the same location as for the stage to Eibar the following day, ten kilometres away. It is unclear why this additional inconvenience was created.
Results: Good.
Buses to the finish: no need for these, apart from the Arrate summit finish from Eibar, where none was offered.
Translations:non-existent, as there were no press conferences, apart from  the winner’s press conference.
Internet: non-existent.  Something which is wholly unacceptable – this ‘innovation’ even earned itself a special report in El Mundo newspaper – and which hopefully will not be repeated.
Distance Pressroom – Finish: generally, fine, except at Arrate.
Distance Finish – Teams buses: at stage two a long distance, but as the buses were right next to the press room, this wasn’t a problem.
Information about the race in the Pressroom: Live ticker and tv, both good.
Food or drinks at or near the Pressroom: very high quality.
Press conference: What press conference? Apart from the last day, the organisers decided we didn’t need one. In what is supposed to be a WorldTour race!
Amount of professional and non-professional journalists: yet again, there was at least one ‘blogger’ wandering round with a press pass. Can the organisers please  sort this out this once and for all?
Conclusions: overall, the Vuelta al País Vasco has, we know, made a huge effort to improve rider safety this year. But where it has not made any effort at all is in improving working conditions for journalists – just the opposite. Money-saving operations like not spending money on a wifi system will likely end up, indirectly, with negative publicity like the article in El Mundo. Equally importantly, journalists obliged to go work in hotels will quickly conclude that they will be better off staying at home, despite the excellent quality of the food on offer, and offer generally less media coverage. No parking at some finishes and starts, no press tents, no daily press conference, possibly too many bloggers: the list is regrettably a very long one of areas that need drastic improvement.