Edu Prades - Catalan Andorra-resident shines his light on Andorra and the Vuelta stage

Edu Prades, the Catalan cyclist living in Andorra, explains the key aspects of Stage 3 of the 2023 Vuelta España, which finishes in Andorra. Edu has been a professional cyclist for 11 seasons, residing in Andorra for five years. His extensive experience as a rider and his deep knowledge of the terrain will be crucial for analyzing the route. He also describes what it’s like to live in Andorra and the reasons why he chose to move there.

Marc Naveira: How long have you been living in Andorra, and why did you decide to relocate?

Edu Prades: I moved to Andorra in December 2018. Previously, I was living in Germany with my partner because she was working there. We had always loved Andorra and would always take advantage of our holidays to go there.

When I made the decision to relocate, I was riding with Euskadi Murias, and shortly after we moved, I received an offer from the Movistar Team, which secured a job for me to live here. If not, I had planned to find a job to stay in Andorra. Currently, I’m still cycling at a professional level, and my wife has an architecture firm, which ensures that we can live in Andorra for a long time. We love it here! 

MN: What is your favorite route in the area?

EP: I really like the area between Ordino, Arcalís, and Cabús; it’s my ‘office’. Time flies by, and I have three long mountain passes with flat sections connecting them, which allows me to warm up or rest between the climbs. The three to four hour training sessions pass by quickly for me.

MN: Will we see you in the Vuelta a España 2023?

EP: At the beginning of the season, my team signed me up for the Vuelta. A few weeks ago, I spoke with them to explore an alternative calendar because this edition is very tough, and I believe there are very few stages where I could have a chance to win. Initially, I’ll do the pre-Vuelta calendar with the team members participating, and then I’ll compete in the Vuelta a Burgos, Slovakia, and Langkawi, where I’ll try to win some stages.

MN: This year, the Vuelta will visit Andorra. What do you think of Stages 3 and 4?

EP: Stage 3 is quite interesting; it’s not as tough as the previous stages held in Andorra. The approach to the first mountain pass is very long and has several steep ramps, which will tire people out. The first pass is long but not very steep. The descent from it is very fast and technical, and there’s no time to recover because the final climb starts right after. The final climb has steep slopes, and there’s usually a tailwind, which makes it less beneficial to ride in someone’s slipstream and very attractive to launch attacks. I think the heat can also play an important role in the stage.

Stage 4, I believe, will be exciting for everyone who will be in Andorra during those days. Being able to see the start of a stage of the Vuelta is always special.

MN: What’s your prediction for the winner of Stage 3?

EP: I’m not sure about the participation yet, but I believe the victor will be among the overall contenders because the dynamics of the race won’t allow much room for a breakaway to succeed. 

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