The Andalucía Bike Race will return for its second edition from February 26 to March 2, 2012, in the provinces of Córdoba and Jaén, Spain. The locale should offer good weather for racers to kick off their season and get some early racing miles in the legs.
The mountain bike stage race is run in the duo team format. Teams will be split into four categories: elite men, elite women, mixed and masters (each rider 30+). More than 17,000 euros will be offered as prize money for the elite men's and women's categories.
The six-day race will be divided into a short urban prologue through the downtown of Córdoba, followed by five marathon stages. Two of these will be held in the Mediterranean forests of Sierra Morena, outside Córdoba. The third stage will start and finish at Priego de Córdoba, where if the skies are clear enough it will allow riders to see the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountain range. The last two stages will take place in Jaén, a more mountainous area surrounded by endless olive tree fields.
"Those who rode the Andalucía Bike Race 2011 will know the area but shouldn't expect the same stages; these are new and even better," said organizers.
The first edition of the race attracted riders from 15 different countries including former cross country world champion José Antonio Hermida, who took part in the race together with former marathon world champion Ralph Näf.
"We are discovering a new Andalucía, which we didn't expect," they had said.
For more information, including on registration, which opens at the end of September, visit the race website at www.andaluciabikerace.com.
See coverage of the inaugural edition, won by Kristian Hynek and Pavel Boudny of Ceska Sporitelna -Specialized and Kristine Nørgaard and Sally Bigham of Topeak-Ergon.