Schlagwort-Archive: Unipublic


The organizers of the Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta have chosen the teams that will take part in the 5th edition of the Spanish women’s race, that will take place over two stages on the 14th and 15th of September 2019.
Boadilla del Monte will host the first stage: a 9.3 km I.T.T in a closed circuit around the historical monument of the Palacio del Infante Don Luis. On Sunday the 15th, the traditional linear stage along the circuit that runs through the center of Madrid will host the second journey a few hours before the 21st stage of La Vuelta 19. The women’s peloton will fight over 98,6 km through some of the most iconic streets and squares of Madrid: Paseo del Prado, Plaza de Cibeles, Paseo de la Castellana, Plaza de Colón, Gran Vía and Glorieta de Carlos V, in front of the railway station of Atocha.
19 UCI WorldTeams are invited to the race:
Ale Cipollini (ITA)
Bepink (ITA)
Bigla (DEN)
Bizkaia – Durango (ESP)
Boels Dolman Cyclingteam (NED)
BTC city Ljunljana (SLO)
Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team (RUS)
Eneicue Cycling Team (ESP)
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope (FRA)
Hitec Products – BIRK SPORT (NOR)
Massi – Tactic Women team (ESP)
Mitchelton Scott (AUS)
Movistar Team Women (ESP)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (NED)
Sopela women’s team (ESP)
Team Sunweb (NED)
Trek Segafredo (USA)
Valcar Cylance Cycling (ITA)
WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team (GER)

In addition to these 19 teams, the organizers have awarded with a wildcard the Spanish Women’s Cycling Team.


Next year, La Vuelta will start in the city of Utrecht on Friday 14th of August 2020. The second and third stage will take place on the 15th and 16th of August, when the peloton will cycle through the provinces of Utrecht and Brabant. The organizer of La Vuelta, Unipublic, announced these dates today in coordination with the Road Cycling Committee of the UCI.

La Vuelta 20 will cross no less than 34 Dutch municipalities in three days. The organization is in the hands of the cities of Utrecht, ‘s Hertogenbosch and Breda and the provinces of Utrecht and Noord-Brabant. Mayor of Utrech, Jan van Zanen: “It’s great that there’s a concrete date now. We’re looking forward to making beautiful plans, for and by residents and visitors of the regions of Utrecht and Noord-Brabant”. An opinion shared by Javier Guillén, General Manager of La Vuelta: “La Vuelta Holanda will be the best way to celebrate our 75th edition. We’re very excited about the idea of organizing a new official start from abroad, and The Netherlands are definitely the best host we could wish for”.

The festivities surrounding La Vuelta Holanda will start much earlier than on the 14th of August. Various activities will be organized in the municipalities to be crossed and at other locations in the province months in advance. “La Vuelta Holanda is much than three days of top-level cycling”, says Paul Depla – Mayor of Breda. “It will be a wonderful celebration for and by residents, entrepreneurs and our (international) guests. It strengthens the bond between Spain and The Netherlands even further”.
The organization of La Vuelta Holanda is now engaged in conversation with sport clubs, schools, cultural institutions and entrepreneurs through various brainstorm-evenings for the purpose of exploring the ideas these parties have for activities surrounding the international cycling event in 2020. In terms of themes, the focus will lie on the themes of celebration, healthy urban life and sustainability.
Laura Cueto


Key points:

• The Asturian summit of La Cubilla has won the competition held by La Vuelta on its social media to decide on “The most viral high-altitude finale” of the 2019 edition, beating Ares del Maestrat in the final.
• This year, for the first time, the summit to bear the title of the Alberto Fernández Summit – which refers to the toughest climb of each edition of La Vuelta – will be the winner of the most viral high-altitude finale, chosen by La Vuelta followers as this edition’s most attractive climb.
• Two VIP access bracelets for the 16th stage of La Vuelta 19, held on the 9th of September, will be raffled among the participants.

Cycling and La Vuelta fans have voted and have chosen La Cubilla. Lena as the “Most viral high-altitude finale” of La Vuelta 19. The Asturian peak, one of the great unprecedented locations of La Vuelta’s 74th edition, faced another unprecedented mountain pass in the final: Ares del Maestrat, in the Province of Castellón. A tough final battle in which over 3000 users voted through La Vuelta’s Facebook page.
Despite the countless Asturian summits La Vuelta has already climbed in the past, the Principality continues to offer the race – year after year – new unprecedented peaks. La Cubilla mountain pass is comparable to its Pyrenean counterparts due to its length, its characteristic winding twists and the unparalleled beauty found along its ascent. Over 20 km of continuous climbing with an average inclination of 5% and ramps featuring two-digit percentiles. This mountain pass, highly frequented and appreciated by cyclotourists, makes its debut in La Vuelta 19 on a high note.

Located on the Leon border of the Las Ubiñas Natural Park, Biosphere Reserve, La Cubilla won a competition that began in March and which saw it beat seven of La Vuelta’s other high-altitude finales. In the face-offs, La Cubilla eliminated the infernal ramps of the Castellón mountain pass Mas de la Costa and those of another more recent discovery for La Vuelta: Los Machucos, Monumento a la Vaca Pasiega.
Throughout the three months of voting, over 13,000 users participated in the seven rounds of face-offs, doubling the number of voters since last year’s edition. The localities found near these mountain passes have, again, thrown their support behind the competition, encouraging fans to vote with the hope of being proclaimed winners.
Furthermore, with the aim of giving greater weight to the opinion of La Vuelta followers, the organisation has decided to declare the competition winner the Alberto Fernández Summit, which corresponds to each edition’s toughest climb.
All the voters now aspire to win two VIP access bracelets to attend the 16th stage, whose finish-line will be at La Cubilla, on the 9th of September. The winner will be chosen through a raffle of all voters and his/her name will be announced next week through the La Vuelta Facebook page.
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The official route for La Vuelta 19 was today announced at the ADDA auditorium in Alicante. The 74th edition of the Spanish race will take place between August 24th and September 15th 2019, setting out from Salinas de Torrevieja and ending in Madrid. With a distance of 3,272.2 km, the competition includes eight uphill finishes, five of which are new. The presentation was attended by representatives from the international peloton, including last year’s podium: Simon Yates, Enric Mas and Miguel Ángel López; but also national cycling stars such as Alejandro Valverde, the new world champion.
On Wednesday December 19th Unipublic announced the route for La Vuelta 19, which will be held between August 24th and September 15th 2019. The Spanish race will start at Salinas de Torrevieja with a team time trial, the first of three stages to take place on the Costa Blanca. Once on its way, the peloton will depart the province of Alicante and head to Valencia, Teruel, Castellón, Tarragona and Barcelona. The general classification will start to take shape during these initial stages, which include several sprints and new uphill finishes that will begin to set the top riders apart.
La Vuelta 19 will experience an initial turning before the first rest day, during one of its queen stages. The spectacular mountain stage in the Principality of Andorra includes a chain of some of the harshest mountain passes in Andorra and a new ascent to Coll d’Engolasters with a 4 km sterrato track link section. The race then crosses the border to France, returning to the Peninsula via Navarre, the Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias, where it will visit some familiar peaks and also some new ones for this year, such as Santuario del Acebo or Alto de La Cubilla, to the delight of mountain climbers.

During its final week, the race moves to the Central System, alternating between Castile–La Mancha, Castile and León and the Community of Madrid. With a ‘leg-breaking’ final in the Gredos and Guadarrama mountains, traversing La Vuelta’s mythical mountain passes such as La Morcuera, which brought us a heart-stopping finish during La Vuelta 15 when Fabio Aru took the red jersey from Tom Dumoulin during stage 20.
“It’s going to be a hard but very interesting Vuelta, with surprises, intrigue and emotion guaranteed. Short but intense stages, including innovation and new and unprecedented ascents. The Vuelta brand is what it is, and we will never give it up, to the contrary, we seek to strengthen it”, stated Javier Guillén, La Vuelta’s General Manager.

The leader’s red jersey celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. In 2010 Vincenzo Nibali became the first winner of the Spanish grand tour to wear the red jersey, which replaced the gold jersey last worn by Alejandro Valverde. “Red is associated with success, passion, and Spain and is now firmly associated with the unparalleled spectacle that is our race”, explained Javier Guillén. The list of riders to have worn the red jersey atop the final podium of La Vuelta includes names such as Fabio Aru, Vicenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana, Alberto Contador, Chris Froome or Simon Yates, the last to join this select club.
Laura Cueto


Beginning with the race’s 2019 edition, La Vuelta’s white jersey, which thus far has been worn by the leading rider in the combined ranking, will be worn by the best young cyclist in the peloton. The jersey will correspond to the rider aged under 26 that stands in highest place in the overall standings. Until now, there was no specific jersey associated with this placing, although it was recognised with a trophy sponsored by the sports daily AS, La Vuelta’s official newspaper. The sponsor of this new white jersey will now be Feníe Energía, which over the past two years has sponsored the most aggressive rider prize. The combined ranking disappears, although its sponsor – Fertiberia – will continue to be linked to La Vuelta.

Following La Vuelta 18, which was characterized by youth, with the second youngest podium in the race’s history, La Vuelta has decided to strengthen its commitment to the promising riders in the peloton. As with the leaders in other rankings, the best young cyclist will wear a jersey that makes them stand out within the group. La Vuelta is therefore following the example of the Tour de France, whose white jersey for the best young rider has been worn by such famous names such as Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Romain Bardet. La Vuelta first began to honour the best riders under the age of 26 in 2017 with a trophy sponsored by AS, the race’s official newspaper. The two winners of this prize so far have been the Colombian Miguel Ángel López (Astana Pro Team), in 2017, and Spain’s Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors), in 2018.
Feníe Energía, one of La Vuelta’s main sponsors since 2017, thus becomes the first sponsor of La Vuelta’s white jersey. “It is a privilege to clothe the rough diamonds of international cycling. Our jersey will be worn by today’s finest young riders, who will go on to become tomorrow’s stars. The generational handover in this sport is a reality, and we are delighted to be part of it, just as we are part of the regeneration of the energy sector”, said Isabel Reija, Feníe Energía’s CEO.
Feníe Energía, is an independent electricity and gas utility company that has recorded the highest growth in Spain with over 400,000 customers, and it shares La Vuelta’s core values of endeavour and sustainability, as well as youth, as it has only been in business for eight years.
This new white jersey for the best young rider puts an end to the combined ranking, as it will no longer be part of the in-race prizes. This ranking was based on the criterion of a sustained performance, taking the best cyclists in the overall standing, the mountain, and the table by points. La combinada made their first appearance in La Vuelta in 1970, and the first rider to wear the jersey was the Belgian Guido Reybrouck. From then on, it featured intermittently until it was finally fully reinstated in 2003. The honours board for past winners of this prize include such famous names as Eddy Merckx, Sean Kelly, Tony Rominger, Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome, among others.

Fertiberia has sponsored this jersey since 2008. This Spanish company, a European market leader in the fertilisers and chemical products industry, will continue to be linked to La Vuelta as an official sponsor, and will be actively involved in other areas of the race.

More information about La Vuelta en
Laura Cueto
+34 638 95 95 20


Utrecht and Noord-Brabant will form the course for the official start of La Vuelta together in 2020. Vuelta Director, Javier Guillén, informed the Mayor of Utrecht, Jan van Zanen, of this on Monday and the both made the official announcement today in Utrecht. The team presentation, the start with a team time trial and the finish of the second stage are to be held in Utrecht in August. The second stage will start in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, while the complete third stage will cover the Province of Noord-Brabant, both starting and finishing in Breda.

The municipalities of Breda,‘s-Hertogenbosch and Utrecht, and the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Utrecht have responded enthusiastically to the ultimate allocation of this major cycling event. The provinces and cities involved intend to turn La Vuelta 2020 into a festive occasion, organized both for and by their residents. The provincial and municipal authorities have plans to literally paint the place red, not only along the route of the race, but also in their respective areas.
The Vuelta Director, Javier Guillén, is looking forward to the ‘Salida Oficial’ in the Netherlands. This will be the second official start of La Vuelta in the Netherlands after Assen 2009 and the fourth time abroad after Lisboa 1987, Assen 2009 and Nîmes 2017. Javier Guillén has every confidence in the successful organization of the event in these cities and provinces. The municipality of Utrecht plays a coordinating role. There is a great passion for cycling in both Utrecht and Noord-Brabant. Both provinces have experience in hosting (major) cycling events. In addition, the cultural-historical ties between Spain and the Netherlands and the topic of sustainability are to serve as the central theme. This was one of the major criteria influencing the management’s decision to award the start of La Vuelta 2020 to Utrecht and North Brabant. The Business Peloton Utrecht (BPU) took the initiative to bring the Vuelta start to the Netherlands. BPU is a business network for Utrecht companies and institutions which have a passion for cycling. BPU initially approached the authorities in Utrecht and Brabant in early 2017.
Preparations for La Vuelta 2020 will commence on January 1st 2019, with the establishment of a project organization. The five municipal and provincial bodies in question have joined forces to make it possible to host La Vuelta. However, the private sector is also closely involved in funding the event. Furthermore, a grant application will be submitted to the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports.
Laura Cueto

La Vuelta 2018 – the stars


Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) is back at La Vuelta, en route to the World championships where he hopes to claim a historic fourth victory in a row at the end of September. “It’s very important to be at La Vuelta, the mountain stages will be very good training”, the Slovak star said on Thursday in front of the media gathered at Malaga. “And it’s much better than training home, alone.” Winner of his first Grand Tour stages at La Vuelta in 2011, Peter Sagan recalled it was only his “second year as a pro” when he first visited La Vuelta (and took 3 wins), “and I even won in Madrid. It was a very good La Vuelta for me. I’m always happy to be in Spain.” This year, he’s still feeling from his late crash in the Tour de France. “But I come here with my soigneur and my physiotherapist”, he explained. “I can do a lot of treatments, I think I’m going to feel better day by day and I hope to win.”

Will La Vuelta 2018 be the first pro race with both Yates racing competitively together at the front since they turned pro? Simon has some answer. “The guys I know who have done the Giro but not the Tour were also racing in Poland, so I know where they’re at but there are others who have done the Tour and it’ll be interesting to see how they go”, the triple stage winner of the Giro d’Italia said in Málaga. “It depends how they finished the Tour. I see a south-north divide in this Vuelta. These first stages are gonna be quite warm, which I’m not a major fan of. I prefer to race in the north of Spain, and in Andorra where I live. Besides the heat, I think La Vuelta is a great race, a beautiful one with many climbs. I have good memories from my stage win in 2016. It was also the first time I managed a top ten in a Grand Tour. I’ve taken a lot of time off to recover from the Giro that I finished completely dead. I’ve had a very different build up to La Vuelta now. I don’t feel any difference in my approach of the racing after the Giro. Since the very beginning, I’ve always turned up to races for trying to win. I was joking with my brother [Adam] during the Tour that he should come here instead. At the end it was announced that he would change [his race program]. I like to race with him. I hope this is the first race we can do together at a very high level. There has always been a curse. Whenever we raced together, one of us always was not so good unfortunately, or unlucky. The last race we did together where we were both really good was the 2013 Tour de l’Avenir, which is a long time ago. We hope to change the fortunes there.”

Miguel Ángel López (Astana) was one of the great revelations of last year’s edition of La Vuelta, where he won two mountain stages. At 24, the Colombian climber will be a wheel to follow, even more after an overall podium finish at the Giro d’Italia. “I haven’t done two Grand Tours in one year before, so we will see how my body will react. I approach La Vuelta with calm and serenity. We will have to go through the first week and hope the mountain stages will put everybody in his place”, he says. Talking about the parcours, López says it looks “similar to last year, with a lot of mounitain finishes. It will be super hard, with mythical finishes. That brings me much motivation to start La Vuelta. I wouldn’t point one rival over the others, but I will have to control everybody because it’s the last Grand Tour of the year and everybody will go full gas”, says the Colombian, who thinks he is in a good moment of his career: “The body is maturing year after year. I’ve learnt a lot of things over the years and I have more consistency. I feel I don’t have any problems after more complicated years with crashes”, he closes with optimism.


With Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, Movistar line up two former winners of La Vuelta. The Colombian will lead the Spanish squad as they aim for another overall success. “Nairo is the leader”, Valverde said ahead of his 12th participation in La Vuelta. “And I’ll do as I always do here: lend a hand and try to spice things up, do good and then feel good for the Worlds.” Winner in 2016, Quintana also spoke to the media: “Im up for the leadership, as I’ve been every time I’ve had to. I’ve recovered at home. I arrived at the Tour in a good situation but things didn’t go the way we hoped. My shape is similar to what it was at the beginning of the Tour, we hope we’ll be lucky and everything will go well until the finish. And how does the Colombian see himself riding La Vuelta? “Full gas from the start until the finish”, he laughed. “Either we crumble, or we win.”


Uphill finishes are the trademark of La Vuelta in its modern era, since 2010. There are usually between seven and ten of them. This year, there are eight. But there are many more climbers in contention!

As early as on stage 2, the day after the inaugural 8-km individual time trial in Málaga, La Vuelta returns to the Caminito del Rey where Esteban Chaves won a stage classified as an uphill finish in 2015. It’s not the case this year. “This time, the finish line will be located in front of the Visitor Centre and not on the river dam”, explained technical director Kiko Garcia. “Therefore, the race will end a bit further down, after three to four kilometres of an uphill at 4 to 5%. We can expect a group of 50 to 60 riders to contest the stage victory. If he’s on good form, Peter Sagan can give it a try. It also suits riders with the same characteristics as Alejandro Valverde.”

The course of the 73rd La Vuelta has gradual difficulties. The first uphill finish is relatively short but seriously steep at Alcafar on day 4. On stage 9, Dan Martin will return to La Covatilla where he claimed his first Grand Tour victory in 2011. La Vuelta hasn’t passed there since. Three stages (13, 14 and 15) in the Asturias province look very promising. La Camperona, a gruelling nearby summit in the province of León, saw the victories of Ryder Hesjedal in 2014 and Sergey Lagutin in 2016. Les Praeres is an unprecedented finale with gradients up to 20 to 21%. On the other hand, Lagos de Covadonga is very well known. 20 stages of La Vuelta have ended up there since 1983, the latest winner Nairo Quintana being eager to doing it again.

The other novelty of the 2018 La Vuelta is the Balcón de Bizkaia. “It’s just as hard as Les Praeres”, Garcia warns. It’s a recently asphalted road on the Mount Oiz in the Basque country. The final part of the mountainous program is located in Andorra. Stage 19 is flat but set to be concluded at La Rabassa where Alessandro Ballan was the last winner in the history of La Vuelta in 2008, just two weeks before he won the world championship in Verona, Italy. Stage 20 is the big one on the eve of the final parade in Madrid. It features five climbs including three classified in the first category before the hors-category coll de La Gallina due to designated the overall winner of the 73rd La Vuelta. “It’s debatable whether stage 15 or stage 20 is the queen stage”, Garcia analysed. “They’re both very complicated with several difficulties before the uphill finish.”

This route must please Colombian climbers. Quintana, Rigoberto Urán and Miguel Ángel « Superman » López are on their toes, as well as Richard Carapaz, the Ecuadorian revelation of the Giro d’Italia. Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru, Richie Porte, the Yates twins, the Izagirre brothers, Wilco Kelderman, Steven Kruijswijk, Igor Antón, Rafal Majka, Ilnur Zakarin, David De La Cruz, Michal Kwiatkowski, Alejandro Valverde, Pierre Rolland, Michael Woods and Dan Martin are among the established climbers on the provisional start list. New ones are also knocking at the door and it’ll be interesting to follow Sepp Kuss, Jai Hindley, Bjorg Lambrecht, Jack Haig, Herman Pernsteiner, Nic Schultz, Edward Ravasi…

STAGE 4 | Alfacar. Sierra de la Alfaguara
STAGE 9 | La Covatilla
STAGE 13 | Valle de Sabero. La Camperona
STAGE 14 | Les Praeres. Nava
STAGE 15 | Lagos de Covadonga. Centenarios 2018
STAGE 17 | Balcón de Bizkaia
STAGE 19 | Andorra. Naturlandia.
STAGE 20 | Coll de la Gallina. Santuario de Canolich.

Laura Cueto
+34 638 95 95 20


Vincenzo Nibali officialised his participation to the 73rd edition of La Vuelta after he got the green light from the doctors following his crash up to l’Alpe d’Huez that forced him to pull out of the Tour de France with a broken vertebrae after stage 12. The Italian will have the bib number 1 on the start list at the beginning of the Spanish Grand Tour in Málaga on August 25th.

Four winners of La Vuelta will be in contention again this year: Alejandro Valverde (2009), Vincenzo Nibali (2010), Fabio Aru (2015) and Nairo Quintana (2016). Among them, the race organization designated « El Tiburón » (The Shark, in Spanish) as the first man on the starting list with the bib number 1. It’s a mark of gratitude to his record book that includes the three Grand Tours (La Vuelta 2010, Giro d’Italia 2013 and 2016, Tour de France 2014) but also Il Lombardia (2015 and 2017) and Milan-Sanremo (2018).

“A successful La Vuelta for me would mean being a protagonist in some nice stages, Nibali informed. As I’m still in a recovery process, it’s hard for me to think of the overall classification with so few days of training behind me”. After his first withdrawal in the nineteen Grand Tours he started, he resumed riding sixteen days before the start in Andalusia. His Bahrain-Merida team has other cards to play on GC with the brothers Ion and Gorka Izagirre. “Ideally, for me personally, I’d love to win several stages in the last week of racing”, Nibali added.

“I’ve always enjoyed racing in Spain, the Sicilian continued. The courses are beautiful and I feel less pressure at La Vuelta than at the Giro and the Tour. The rhythm of a day in Spain reminds me of the south of Italy. Of course my best memory remains my overall win in 2010, the first Grand Tour I won. It’s been a milestone in my career”.

Nibali was the first ever winner of La Vuelta crowned in Madrid with the red jersey (La Roja) that has become the trademark of the Spanish race. “Very few riders in activity have a record book as brilliant as his”, noted Javier Guillén, the general director of the event. “It’s a luxury to have Nibali in contention once again. In addition to having won it, he showed his commitment to the race last year by doing his best to climb on the second step of the final podium [as in 2013]. He’s an elegant rider, combative and charismatic. He deserves the bib number 1.”

More information about La Vuelta 18 :

Laura Cueto
Tel.: +34 638 95 95 20


Basques are back, Burgos-BH discovers La Vuelta, Cofidis and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA know the drill: the four teams who were granted wild-cards for La Vuelta 2018 promise offensive cycling as they seek success between Malaga and Madrid.
Five years after the iconic jersey “naranjo” of Euskaltel Euskadi left the peloton, Basques are back at La Vuelta with Euskadi-Murias. “It’s a dream I’ve had since the team was built”, says Jon Ordiozola, who’s led the project since 2015 after participating in cycling’s biggest races as a rider and then a sports director with Euskaltel-Euskadi. “Here, cycling lives in a unique way and a project like Euskadi-Murias was the missing piece to come back to the forefront.”
Not only Euskadi is back at La Vuelta but the festivities are set to reach a climax during stage 17. Starting from Getxo, the peloton will travel through Bilbao on the way to an unprecedented and already dreaded finish at Balcón de Bizkaia. “It’s our queen stage”, Jon Odriozola announces. “It will be hard to get a result because it comes at the end of La Vuelta, our riders lack experience and will be tired, and everyone will be watching us because they know how important this is for us. A stage of La Vuelta in Bilbao, for a team named Euskadi, there are no words”.
In their first season after making the jump to Continental Pro, Euskadi-Murias have claimed six victories so far, with Enrique Sanz winning last week a stage at the Volta a Portugal. At La Vuelta, Jon Odriozola will rely on an “aggressive team fighting for stages. With Jon Aberasturi, I have strong hopes for stages finishing with a sprint. Mikel Bizkarra and Oscar Rodriguez can do good things in the mountain. And Edu Prades and the rest will aim the other stages.”

“La Vuelta is part of the identity of Cofidis, who is very involved in Spain”, so Christian Guiberteau wants from his rider “a cohesion and a behavior that will make us actors of the race. And then, the consequence of it, the icing on the cake, will be a stage victory and we’ll do everything to get it. We clearly have te tools to get that win, we have to believe it. But I also know it’s very difficult.”
One of the sports director’s cards will be Nacer Bouhanni. The French sprinter won two stages of La Vuelta in 2014 and hasn’t participated since 2015 (he abandoned during stage 8). “A gastroenteritis prevented Nacer from finishing the Tour of Poland”, Christian Guiberteau explains. “But he’s recovering well and should be in top shape for the start of La Vuelta, with stages that should suit him in the first week.”
“Nacer will have a lead-out man with him, and other teammates will offer additional support on occasions”, the sports director elaborates. “It’s not about having a full train, it’s very complicated at La Vuelta furthermore with climbs always throwing off the sprinters and their teams. La Vuelta is more for sprinters like Trentin (4 stage wins in 2017) than Kittel.”
In addition to Nacer Bouhanni, Christian Guiberteau will rely on a “dynamic squad. Jesús Herrada was very strong at the European championships and he will be very motivated at La Vuelta. There aren’t as many sprinters teams to control the race so it’s interesting to have someone in the breakaway.If it’s a sprint, so be it, but having someone in the break is important because you can also fight for the stage that way”.

Caja Rural-Seguros RGA will tackle their seventh participation at La Vuelta in a row with “a young and balanced team”, according to sports director Eugenio Goikoetxea. He’s set a goal for the team from Navarre, used to claiming success through long range attacks (stage victory at Lagos de Covadonga for Antonio Piedra in 2012, King of the Mountain victories for Luis Leon Sanchez in 2014 and Omar Fraile in 2015): “Be actors of the race on every terrain”.
“La Vuelta is the race that gets us inspired all year long”, Eugenio Goikoetxea says. “First we work hard to get the invitation, and then to arrive in the best conditions to offer a good outing. La Vuelta is a dream in itself. Our sponsors are Spanish companies and it is fundamental for us to look for reasons to rejoice every day.”
After David Arroyo’s departure, Sergio Pardilla will be the only rider over 30 years of age. “He will be our leader and captain”, says Eugenio Goikoetxea about the experienced climber, who’s already finished three times inside the top 20 of La Vuelta (15th in 2017, his best result). “We have Nelson Soto for sprints, he is really fast. A rider like Lluis Mas is more a stage hunter on all kind of routes.”

Burgos-BH also participates in La Vuelta in their first year as a Continental Pro team. “It’s our goal of the year”, sports director Jose Cabedo says. He hopes for better luck after a year marred with struggles, most notably the injuries of the two young talents Silvio Herklotz and Matvey Mamykin (the Russian has left the team at the beginning of the month). “We’ve suffered with injuries but since June we’ve been able to work well with the riders who will participate in La Vuelta”, Jose Cabedo explains. “We’ll be at our best.”
“We want to show we have the skills to be there”, he insists. Ahead of La Vuelta, Burgos-BH have signed the Dutch rider Jetse Bol. “He will be our reference”, his sports director establishes. “He’s had a very good La Vuelta last year. He led the virtual standings on two occasions and took part in breakaways that fought for the stage victory.”
Jose Cabedo also counts on riders like Diego Rubio (7th of the Oridizako Klasika) and Pablo Torres to “have our say in the breaks that can make it to the finish”. Finally, the Portugues José Mendes will bring his experience as a finisher of the five grand tours he participated in (22nd of La Vuelta in 2013). “We want to see what he can do in the mountains and if he can bring us a top 20 on general classification in our first Vuelta”, Jose Cabedo says.
Laura Cueto
+34 638 95 95 20