Racing La Vuelta Femenina
The Vuelta signals a shift from one-day races to stage racing in Spain
With the classics season over, it’s time for a change not only of scenery, but a change of the racing calendar.
For the first time, the Vuelta Femenina moves from its previous date of mid September to the beginning of May. It’s also increasing from five to seven stages this year, allowing the race to take on a more varied parcours.
We’re bringing six riders with a range of experience and expertise to the Vuelta. Hear from our squad and our sports director about our goals for the ninth edition of the race that kicks off on May 1st.
Tim Harris, sports director
We’re looking forward to the Vuelta. We’ve got a good team. We’re really looking forward to Femke Beuling, our new signing, who will be riding her first race with the team. She’ll be able to acquaint herself well with the team and hopefully be able to do some sprints on the flatter stages. For the overall, we’ve got Veronica who’s been riding well recently and we’re looking forward to how she’ll perform in the mountain stages. We start with a team time trial which is not one of our top strong points but we’ll certainly do our best. That’s then followed by a few rolling and flat stages so we’ll see what opportunities we can find there. The last three days are very mountainous, finishing up on the Lagos de Covadonga, but before we get there, there’s a lot of bike racing so we’ll see how things go.
The Vuelta is my first WorldTour race and that's obviously very special. I'm really excited to ride my first race with the team. It's difficult for me to say what I expect, but I just want to contribute to the team's performance in every possible way. For myself, I hope to be able to get a good result in one of the flatter stages, so I'm especially looking forward to those stages.
I’ve raced the Vuelta a few times before but this is the first year that it’s been seven days. In the past it’s been five days, and even just a one-day race, so it’s really cool that they’ve stepped up and we’ve got more of a grand tour race. I always like racing the Vuelta. The weather’s usually good after the spring classics and the roads are really nice. I’ve looked at the stages and they look really good. There are a couple of sprint stages, there’s a team time trial, there are some hilly stages and the mountain top stage. I think they’re all going to be really exciting racing. They suit us. The goal will be to get Veronica up there on GC. And a stage result for her or someone else would also be really cool. I’m just looking forward to getting into it and racing with the team. I hope to play a part in the team time trial. That’s one of my strengths. I’m hoping to share my knowledge and play a big part there.
It’s my first time racing the Vuelta and I am really excited. I will be doing the full Spanish race block, so the Vuelta will be the beginning of a longer block for me and I am really looking forward to racing in Spain! It’s nice that the Vuelta is a longer stage race with seven stages and the route includes a bit of everything which makes racing exciting and interesting for us as we can play different cards. It’s also cool that we are basically racing through the whole country from south to north. Of course that also means longer transfers for the team, but it’s also pretty cool to race across Spain in one stage race.
This is my first time racing the Vuelta. I really am looking forward to it. I’ve heard a lot about it and I really like racing in Spain, especially now that I've lived in Spain for a while. I really like the culture and the community. What I’m looking forward to the most is getting the stage racing started. I think it’s going to be a good one for the team. I’m a little bit nervous about the TTT but I think it will be a good learning experience. The team can do really well. I think we have a strong team. It’s always hard to tell with the first stage race of the year how everyone will go after the one day races but I will do the best I can do.
I raced the Vuelta for the first time last year, which was actually just a few months ago. This race marks the transition from the one day spring classics to the stage racing part of the year, so the racing strategies and dynamics will shift. I’m looking forward to this race because we have a well rounded team and strong leaders for both the sprint and mountain stages. It will also be the first race with our new teammate, Femke, so I’m looking forward to racing with her.
I have raced the Vuelta before. Last year was my first time and it was really fun. I’m excited to get back to Spanish roads because they tend to suit me a bit better. The course this year starts somewhat flat and then leads to the mountains so that should be pretty fun and should allow for a lot of different opportunities throughout the week. I’m most nervous for the mountain stages as I’m not quite sure where my form is at the moment with regard to climbing but I will do my best. At the same time, I’m also really excited for the last two mountain stages. I think the race will provide us with a lot of opportunities for stage wins which is really exciting. Instead of being on the defense, we can be a bit more on the offense and be a bit more active to go for stages rather than go for the GC. We’ll see how the TTT plays out and how the first few stages play out and then go from there. I’m really excited. We have Femke doing her first race with us. I’m really excited to have her on the squad. I’m excited to see what the team can do and hopefully find success on the Spanish roads.
How to follow: Eurosport/GCN+ and FloBikes will carry live coverage of the Vuelta.