Key points :
• 87 riders are gathering in the province of Toledo to kick-off the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta 20 with an unprecedented 3-day format.
• Winner of the 2019 edition, Lisa Brennauer returns to Spain with the clear intention of fighting her way to a second consecutive victory in the last event of the 2020 UCI Women’s WorldTour.
• Among the many stars expected to fight for glory en route to Madrid, Annemiek van Vleuten is riding for the last time with Mitchelton-Scott as she’ll ride for the Spanish Movistar Team next season.
THE STAGE IS SET FOR THE FINAL BATTLES OF THE 2020 UCI WWT
87 riders from 16 teams have arrived in Toledo, where they’ll start on Friday the 11th and final event of the 2020 UCI Women’s WorldTour. The peloton feature six World Teams, including the Trek-Segafredo powerhouse. Lizzie Deignan, who is set to win the overall standings after her victories in the GP de Plouay, La Course by Le Tour de France and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, won’t be there but her partner Elisa Longo Borghini can threaten Anna van der Breggen’s place of second in the overall standings. Lisa Breannauer (Ceratizit-WNT) can also make her way inside the top 3 of the 2020 UCI WWT if she repeats her successes from last year’s edition. Liane Lippert, winner of the first event of the season, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, is here to defend her lead in the Youth standings.
LISA BRENNAUER : «I REALLY EXPECT A TOUGH FIGHT ALL THE WAY TO THE END »
Last year, Germany’s Lisa Brennauer took the lead by winning the time trial and defended her advantage over Lucinda Brand throughout the intermediate sprints on the circuit of Madrid to become the fifth winner after Shelley Olds, Jolien D’Hoore on two consecutive editions and Ellen van Dijk. The defending champion is back. “I’m really looking forward to finishing my season with the CERATIZIT Challenge”, she informed. “This year, it’s gonna be three stages. The first one looks pretty challenging with a hilly route and we can expect a lot of action there. Then going into a time trial, it’s always special but it’s a short time trial only, so I believe the time gaps are not gonna change that much but then on the last day, probably there’s gonna be a lot of bonus sprints again, where you can gain or lose a lots of seconds, so I really expect a tough fight all the way to the final.“
ANNEMIEK VAN VLEUTEN AT THE END OF THE ROAD WITH MITCHELTON-SCOTT
Before moving to Movistar Team, former world champion and current European champion Annemiek van Vleuten will have one last taste of Spanish racing under the banner of Mitchelton-Scott. “I’m looking forward to finishing off this season with the team on a high after my five years with them”, she said. “That will not be achieved by just results, but more when we work together as a team and go for a plan together. The uphill finish on stage one is not really a long uphill, but for sure I would love to give it a go there! The short TT will be challenging. Also, I look forward to the last stage where we will work together in the lead-out for Sarah Roy, and after I am going to cry because then I will realise my time with this amazing team and people has come to an end!”
SARA MARTÍN, THE SPANISH HOPE
Six Spanish teams will take part in the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 20. One of them belongs to the UCI Women’s WorldTour: Movistar Team. The other five are from the Continental ranks: Bizkaia-Durango, Cronos-Casa Dorada Women Cycling, Massi Tactic Women Team, Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte and Sopela Women’s Team. Sara Martin (born in 1999 at Aranda de Duero, province of Burgos) is part of the latter. She’s one of the big hopes of Spanish cycling. Her first international performance was precisely in this same event back in 2018. “This was my first year in the u23 category and I took part in the breakaway on La Castellana”, she said with a smile. “I suffered a lot but but I managed to get a good position. I even attacked in the final kilometers looking to surprise.
I had nothing to lose and a lot to gain.” According to Martin, the inaugural stage from Toledo will bring a new dimension to the event. “It will give life and it will enable the race to be recognised as a true stage race”, added the u23 Spanish champion for road racing and time trial. This will be her last race with Sopela, the team she joined for two years as a junior and three as an u23, before moving to Movistar Team in order to discover the top international level. “I’m extremely grateful to this team that has supported me tremendously in my development. I want to enjoy my last race with their colours and my team-mates from always.”