The peloton is leaving the spring classics behind and will focus on the stage races from now on. On the first of May the first ‘Grand Tour’ of this year will start: La Vuelta Femenina. Liv Racing TeqFind starts with a versatile squad, which can show itself on every terrain.
From 5 to 7 days
La Vuelta Femenina has expanded from five to a seven day stage race. The race will cover 730,3 kilometres during a week of racing. The riders open the race with a team time trial over 14,5 kilometres. The second stage has a climb at 20 kilometres from the finish and will reduce the bunch probably. On the third day there is a real chance for the sprinters with finish in La Roda after a pan-flat stage. From there the peloton will head into the hills and mountains. Stage five will finish on the Mirador de Peñas Llanas at 1.483 metres altitude. The sixth and penultimate stage has two climbs of second category in the final 40 kilometres of the stage. Lagos de Covadonga will draw a curtain over this year`s race with a hard summit finish after a climb of 16 kilometres with an average of 7,4%.
Strong and versatile squad
Liv Racing TeqFind lines up a versatile squad with the ability to shine on every terrain. For the mountains and the GC the team counts on Spanish champion Mavi Garcia. She showed her growing form in the Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. In the sprint stages the team can rely on Rachele Barbieri, who wants to show her fast legs in the first days of this race.
Caroline Andersson, Tereza Neumanova, Katia Ragusa, Silke Smulders and Quinty Ton add more horse power to the team. They all can support Garcia and Barbieri on their terrains, but all can show themselves as well as they proved earlier this season.
“Special to ride in own country”
For Spanish champion Garcia it will be a special stage race, as she can show her Spanish champion jersey for her home crowd. “It is always special to ride with this beautiful jersey in my own country. There will be a lot of people who will cheer for me and support me. That`s why it is also great to see that the Vuelta has expanded to seven days. In this way there is more visibility for our races and that is something I am happy about.”
Before the Ardennes Classics Garcia went on a altitude camp. In the Fleche Wallone she finished just near the podium, but the Spanish Liv Racing TeqFind rider thinks she can improve even more. “I have worked hard at altitude. That didn`t reflect always in the results during the Ardennes races. I am approaching my top form, so let`s see how it goes in Spain the upcoming week. We will see day per day regarding the GC. The first test is the TTT. Before the Amstel we did a test with the team. A TTT is a complicated and special discipline. We understand each other well, so are confident for a good result.
Barbieri aiming for the first days
Italian sprinter Barbieri will aim for the sprints in the second and third stage. “At first the Vuelta wasn`t on my agenda, but together with the team we decided to give it a try in Spain. The spring classics didn`t go completely as planned due to illness and some bad luck. In this Vuelta are two good opportunities to show my fast legs. I am aiming for a podium spot there. Last week I was active during the Nations Cup on the track in Canada with the Italian team pursuit team. So I have some speed from the track in my legs. This week I did the last preparations at home to be ready for the Vuelta.”
01/05, stage 1: Torrevieja – Torrevieja (14.5km, TTT)
02/05, stage 2: Orihuela – Pilar de la Horadada (105.1 km)
03/05, stage 3: Elche de la Sierra – La Roda (148.2 km)
04/05, stage 4: Cuenca – Guadalajara (133.1 km)
05/05, stage 5: La Cabrera – Mirador de Peñas Llanas, Riaza (129.2 km)
06/05, stage 6: Castro-Urdiales – Laredo (106.7 km)
07/05, stage 7: Pola de Siero – Lagos de Covadonga (93.5 km)