Organisers of the 2018 WNT Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, Unipublic, announced Thursday that they have increased the event to a two-day stage race after adding a team time trial the day ahead of the original circuit race. The event has also moved back two weeks and will now take place on September 15 and 16.
This year's Madrid Challenge will mark the penultimate race on the 2018 Women's WorldTour.
The racing will begin on September 15 with a 14-kilometre team time trial on a completely closed course in the Boadilla del Monte area of Madrid.
The new stage will no doubt attract many teams that are looking for a final tune-up ahead of the team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships held in late September in Austria.
On September 16, the peloton will once again take on the circuit race in downtown Madrid that will include 17 laps (two more than last year) on a 5.8km circuit around the iconic Plaza Cibeles, Paseo de la Castellana, Plaza de Colon, Gran Via and the Prado Museum.
Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, originally scheduled to take place on September 3, has hosted a women's circuit race in conjunction with the men's Vuelta a España for three years.
The inaugural edition, held in 2015 as a UCI 1.1 event, was won by American sprinter Shelley Olds. Belgian sprinter Jolien D'hoore won the next two consecutive editions, which were upgraded to the Women's WorldTour in 2016 and 2017.
The Women's WorldTour will conclude this year at the Tour of Guangxi in China on October 21.