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Challenge by La Vuelta expands to five stages in 2022

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA SPAIN SEPTEMBER 05 LR Annemiek Van Vleuten of Netherlands and Movistar Team red leader jersey and Lotte Kopecky of Belgium and Team Liv Racing green points jersey celebrate winning on the podium ceremony after during the 7th Ceratizit Challenge By La Vuelta 2021 Stage 4 a 1074 km at stage from As Pontes to Santiago de Compostela ChallengeVuelta CERATIZITChallenge21 on September 05 2021 in Santiago de Compostela Spain Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images
Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar) in the red jersey of the leader and Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) in the green points jersey, celebrating on the podium after the 7th Ceratizit Challenge By La Vuelta 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Organisers of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta announced that the women's stage race will expand to five stages, to be held from September 7-11 in 2022. 

The announcement was made at the official route presentation for the Vuelta a España at the Palacio Municipal – IFEMA in Madrid on Thursday.

“In 2015, we presented a pioneering race in our country, with the hope of making it an international reference. It’s a fun and exciting race," said Javier Guillén, General Director of La Vuelta.

"You only have to see the extremely high level of participation in 2021 to understand its importance in the women’s WorldTour calendar. We must respond to the challenge demanded by the riders, and do so by making it the toughest route to date."

The Ceratizit Challenge started out as a one-day race in Madrid in 2015 won by Shelley Olds, while the 2016 and 2017 editions were won by Jolien D'hoore . 

The event expanded to two stages in 2018 won by Ellen van Dijk. Brennauer won back-to-back editions in 2019 and in 2020, when a third stage was added. 

However, this year's race won by Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) was the toughest of all the editions as it had expanded to four days for 2021. It included two mid-mountain stages, a mountain time trial to the Cabeza de Manzaneda Ski Resort, and sprint finale in Santiago de Compostela.

The organisers have not yet announced the details of the route.

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.