NEA International Women’s Stage Race Preview (WE 2.2)

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Introduction

Today starts the International Women’s Stage Race (NEA) held in Helsinki area. It is the fourth edition of the Finish stage race, the first one under UCI WE 2.2 status. The race course is very similar to the 2015 edition with a total race length of 189.6 kilometres that are covered through three racing days and four stages, including an individual time trial, a prologue and a half-stage. As we are entering the final weeks of the Olympic Qualification, the race is a great opportunity for riders to prove their skills as well as to get very valuable UCI points for Rio.

This is the case of the Spanish national team that heads to race after being overtaken by a few nations on their road to Rio. Right now Norway sits on 22nd place (the final that grants access to Rio Olympics). Without their main contenders for the Olympic Qualification at the Finish stage race it is a great opportunity for Spain to get back on the Olympic Qualification positions.

Provisional unofficial ranking (may include some errors):

20 Republic of China (Taiwan) 319
21 Cuba 300
22 Norway 279
23 Mexico 252
24 Spain 246

Programme

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Recorrido

From Friday, May 13th until Sunday, May 15th

55 riders from 10 different teams will participate in the fourth edition of the race.

Prologue : Helsinki Music Centre, Helsinki 2,6km Local Time: 17:00 approx. (UTC +2)

prologo

Identical prologue course to the previous edition of the race. Completely flat course with only one technical difficulty: a narrow u-turn turning point. It will start and finish from Kansalaistori Square, just in front of the Helsinki Music Centre. On its way back to riders will have to go through the tunnel.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 01.00.25

Our favourite: [EST] Liisi Rist Our outsider: [ESP] Ainara Elbusto

1st stage : Vantaa Vantaa (ITT) 10km Local Time: 10:00 approx. (UTC +2)

Perfil

Same course as in the previous edition of the race. Start and finish from Seutula school, at mark 5 km there is the narrow turning point.

Our favourite: [ESP] Anna Sanchís Our outsider: [EST] Liisi Rist 

2nd stage: Vantaa-Vantaa 82 km Local Time: 16:00 approx. (UTC +2)
Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 16.23.54

Starting and finishing again at Seutula school, riders will have to complete two laps to a 41-kilometre circuit during the second sector-stage of the day.

Our favourite: [NOR] Vita Heine Our outsider: [ESP] Alicia González

3rd stage: Espoo – Espoo 95km Local Time: 09:00 approx (UTC+2)

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 22.51.40

Final stage of the race. Riders will have to ride nine laps to a 10.6-kilometre circuit from Lakisto. Finish line on Skogsbyntie (top of the final hill of the circuit) will be a thrilling finale for the first UCI ranked edition of the race.

Our favourite: [ESP] Ane Santesteban Our outsider: [BRA] Flavia Oliveira

Favourites & Outsiders

Imagen [ESP] Ane Santesteban, [BRA] Flavia Oliveira, [ESP] Anna Sanchís
Imagen   Sari Saarelainen,  Laura Vainiopää, [EST] Liisi Rist, ISR Shari Bloch
Imagen [ESP] Alicia González, [ESP] Dorleta Eskamendi, [NOR] Vita Heine, ISR Omer Shapira

Betting area

Our favourite: [ESP] Anna Sanchís
Our outsider: [NOR] Vita Heine

Participants

Women Elite Startlist

Previous edition

2015

Previous edition of the race, under national status, was won by Finish rider Laura Vainionpää (Medilaser). Her compatriot Pia Pensaari (TVC) finished second with the same time. Veera Väkevä (CCH/RW) completed the podium, 31 seconds behind the winner.

Results

1 Laura Vainionpää Medilaser 4:03:29
2 Pia Pensaari TVC st
3 Veera Väkevä CCH/RW 31”
4 Heidi Onger Focus Ladies 52”
5 Rosa Törmänen Focus Ladies 53”
6 Heini Salovaara AHH 57”
7 Michaela Åvall ACT 1’31”
8 Riina Miettinen Focus Ladies 2’22”
9 Maija Syrjä AHH 2’51”
10 Merja Särkioja CCH/RW 5’00”

Live

Twitter accounts & hashtags to follow the race: @_RoadAndMud

TV streaming

Prologue : Helsinki Music Centre, Helsinki 2,6km from 15.55 pm (local time)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce_1tgp2sfo

1st stage : Vantaa – Vantaa (ITT) 10km from 8.55 am (local time)

2nd stage: Vantaa-Vantaa 82 km from 14.55 pm (local time)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1Qnlyq70lo

3rd stage: Espoo – Espoo 95km from 7.55 am (local time)

Sources

Official website

Women Cycling Fever

Written by:

Diego Martín

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