07 Mar Setmana Ciclista Valenciana Preview (WE 2.2)
After multiple unsuccessful attempts the project of Club Ciclista Escapada of hosting a UCI ranked stage race in the Valencian Community is about to come to fruition this Wednesday with the start of the inaugural edition of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana.
Despite being held for the first time the race will count with great participation, as 147 riders (including 28 Spanish riders) from 26 teams and national federations will take part in the race. The organisers have prepared a four-day race format totalling nearly 300 kilometres, featuring two hilly stages, a team time trial and a flat stage.
From Wednesday, 8 March until Saturday, 11 March
Stage 1 (TTT): Villarreal – Villarreal 6,6km, local time from 15:00 pm (UTC+1)
Short urban TTT race course that will set the first differences of the race. Hopefully those differences won’t be highly influential on the overall GC. World TTT Bronze medallist team Cervélo-Bigla will be the main favourite for the victory. British Wiggle-High5 and Italian BePink Cogeas will be other big contenders for the victory in a TTT stage.
Our favourite: Cervélo-Bigla / Our outsider: Drops
Stage 2: Gandia – Gandia 110km, local time from 13:40 pm untill 16:45 pm approx (UTC+1)
On paper the queen stage of the race. The longest and highest cumulative ascent of the inaugural edition of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, covering 110 kilometres and two QOMs as well as several uncatalogued hills. Despite the fact that Puerto de Barx is nearly 20 kilometres away from the finish line, will likely end with a very reduced bunch sprint or with a solo breakaway finale.
Our favourite: Ashleigh Moolman / Our outsider: Marie Vilmann
Stage 3: Alicante – Alicante 87km, local time from 13:30 pm untill 15:45 pm approx (UTC+1)
The third stage will bring the final chance to make some important GC differences. A tactically open stage course that features two ascents to Puerto de Bussot, a 9,5-kilometre climb at an average 3% gradient, that will likely tire steadily riders. The stage will likely end with a reduced group sprint or even a bunch sprint depending on the previous stage results and team tactics.
Our favourite: Giorgia Bronzini / Our outsider: Kelly Druyts
Stage 4: Valencia – Valencia 96km, local time from 13:30 pm untill 16:00 pm approx (UTC+1)
The final stage of the inaugural edition of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana will bring an opportunity for the fastest riders of the peloton. A proper flat stage that will likely end with a massive bunch sprint in Valencia.
Our favourite: Marta Bastianelli / Our outsider: Arianna Fidanza
Favourites & Outsiders
Ashleigh Moolman, Thalita de Jong, Claudia Lichtenberg, Ann Sophie Duyck
Jessie Daams, Ane Santesteban, Arlenis Sierra, Doris Schweizer, Carlee Taylor
Rasa Leleivyte, Eider Merino, Vita Heine, Marie Vilmann, Ana Covrig, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig
Our favourite: Ashleigh Moolman
Our outsider: Marie Vilmann
160 riders from 27 teams and national federations will take part in the race. Ane Santesteban (Alé Cipollini), Lorena Llamas, Lourdes Oyarbide and Anna Pujol (Bizkaia-Durango), Empar Fèlix, Bea Gómez, Cristina Martínez, Eider Merino, Gloria Rodríguez and Alba Teruel (Lointek), Laia Escobedo, Isabel Ferreres, Maria Gomis, Teresa Ripoll, Sofia Rodríguez and Esther Villaret (Hyundai Koryo Car), Elisabet Escursell, Andrea Fraile, Laura Méndez, Patricia Nicolás, Maria Pilar Nuñez and Mireia Orengo (BZK – Smurfit Kappa), Sandra Alonso, Maialen Aramendia, Miriam Gardachal, Sara Martín, Lorena Ordiñana and Sandra Trevilla (Selección Española) will be our Spanish representatives at the first edition of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana.
How to follow the race
A few Twitter accounts and hashtags (among others) to follow the race:
A few Facebook accounts:
Organizer (C.C. Escapada)