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Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta confirms three stages

The podium of the 2019 Madrid Challenge
Lisa Brennauer wins 2019 Madrid Challenge (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The organisers of the 2020 Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta have confirmed that the three-day race will go ahead with a brand new opening stage in Toledo on November 6. The race marks the finale of the Women's WorldTour late-season revised calendar that formed a replacement to the original season shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its three first editions (2015, 2016 and 2017), the Madrid Challenge consisted of a circuit race stage through Madrid’s city centre. In 2018 and 2019, organisers added a time trial stage that took place in the locality of Boadilla del Monte. 

The 2020 edition will be the first time the event hosts three consecutive stages, with an opening hilly road race in Toledo on November 6, a stage 2 time trial in Boadilla del Monte on November 7, and a stage 3 closing circuit race in Madrid on November 8.

"It's very important for us to keep developing a project that we believe to be full of opportunities," said Javier Guillén, general manager of La Vuelta. 

"It is absolutely essential to claim our vocation to support women's cycling. It's precisely why we turned to this project, to try to push it forward despite the difficulties generated by the health crisis."

It was unclear earlier if the Madrid Challenge would take place given the rise in COVID-19 cases across Spain, and because organisers had not announced the three stages until the week before the race.

The FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope team announced last week that they will not take part in the three-day event due to concerns about the safety of their riders and staff. CCC-Liv are also not participating as they announced their final race of the year was at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne in October.

Organisers have announced the 17 teams that will participate in the race, with six WorldTeams: Ale’ BTC Ljubljana, Canyon-SRAM Racing, Mitchelton Scott, Movistar Team Women, Team Sunweb and Trek Segafredo, where Lizzie Deignan is currently leading the top-tier series. The are also 11 Continental Teams invited to participate.

The racing will begin on Friday with an 82.8km hilly road race from Toledo to Escalona. The second day of racing, on Saturday, is a 9.3km individual time trial in Boadilla del Monte. The racing will end on Sunday with a 17-lap circuit race, totaling 98.6km, in Madrid.

"These three days of racing will place women's cycling at the forefront, which will help an entire community feel that they are participating in an event in continuous growth, and which will contribute to the recovery of our normality and strengthen our morale as a country," said the president of the High Council for Sports, Irene Lozano. 

"The effort made by Unipublic, its undisputed endorsement for Spanish cycling, the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation, and the partners who have shown a great capacity for adaptation and resilience that will allow this competition to happen with all the safety guarantees that these times require."

Teams

  • Ale’ BTC Ljubljana
  • Canyon-SRAM Racing
  • Mitchelton Scott
  • Movistar Team Women
  • Team Sunweb
  • Trek-Segafredo
  • Bepink
  • Bizkaia-Durango
  • CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling Team
  • Cronos-Casa Dorada Women Cycling (ESP)
  • Doltcini-Van Eyck Proximus Continental Team
  • Eneicat-RBH Global
  • Team Hitec ProductsBirk Sport
  • Massi Tactic Women Team
  • Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte
  • Sopela Women’s Team
  • Valcar-Travel & Service