The new Movistar women's team will debut at the UCI 2.2 Setmana Ciclista Valenciana from February 22 to 25 in Spain.
Jorge Sanz will direct the all-Spanish line-up that includes Mavi García, Lourdes Oyarbide, Lorena Llamas, Eider Merino, Alicia González and local Alba Teruel.
The team are currently training at a seven-day camp in Alicante in preparation for their debut. The camp ends on Wednesday and the riders will line up on the start line in Gandia the following day.
The Setmana Ciclista Valenciana will feature plenty of climbing from start to end, with the category 3 Barxeta and category 2 Barx in the first stage. They riders will also climb the category 1 Desierto de las Palmas on route to Villarreal on stage 2, the category 2 Oronet near Valencia's finish on stage 3, and a tough circuit with three trips up the category 2 Alto de Finestrat on stage 4.
Sopela Women's Team to Valenciana
Sopela Women's Team is ready to start their season at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. It is the second edition of the stage race and is expected to host many of the top women's teams in the world.
The four-day stage race will start in Rotova and end in Gandia. The 118km opener will feature Alto de Barxeta (6.2km to 3.1%) and the Alto de Barx (6km 5.6%). Stage 2 will start in Castello and finish in Vila-Real, and climb the Desert of Les Palmes (7.5km to 5.1%). Stage 3, from Sagunt to Valencia, will be 137km with a climb to L'Oronet (5.5km to 5%). The final stage in Benidorm will offer three laps of a circuit that includes the climb over Alto Finestrat (7 km to 4.7%), for 118km in total.
Francisco Pla will direct the team that includes Bea Gómez, Enara López, Tata Martins, Sofía Rodríguez, Soraia Silva and Ariadna Trias.
"We open the season in an international race, which is an extra motivation. We have a balanced team with which we will try to have a presence," Pla said.
"Some riders will be tested to see how far they can get in the general classification, others will have to seek the share of prominence in the breaks and we also have fast people who will have their opportunities in other stages.
Recycling programme extends sponsorship of Trek-Drops
Every Can Counts, a recycling programme based in the UK, has extended its sponsorship of the women's professional cycling team Trek-Drops throughout the 2018 season.
"We're delighted to continue our partnership with Alupro and welcome the increased support from both the MPE (Metal Packaging Europe) and European Aluminium," said the team's director Tom Varney.
"This additional support via the Every Can Counts programme is a huge benefit to the team and will help us progress further this year. The riders and staff will be helping to encourage cyclists across Europe to do their bit to protect our environment by recycling their drinks cans - making every can count! We're excited to continue to explore opportunities as to how we can spread this great message further."
Every Can Counts, which is managed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro), is a partnership between the European and UK drinks can manufacturers, and the aluminium recycling industry and leading drinks brands. The programme currently operates in 13 European countries.
It is the second season the recycle programme has sponsored the UK-based team. This year, Every Can Counts will actively support the team when they race in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, France and Spain.
"Trek-Drops is one of a small handful of women's professional cycling teams in the world that pays every rider in its team a wage. We are immensely proud to be associated with the team and in helping to play our part in the continued growth of women's cycling," said Rick Hindley, Executive Director of the Every Can Counts programme.
"There is a real synergy between the core values of Trek-Drops and the Every Can Counts programme - and there's the obvious natural link between cycling and caring for the environment. Aluminium and steel drinks cans are purchased by millions of people every day, including at sporting events. Recycling one tonne of aluminium saves nine tonnes of CO2 emissions - and one tonne is the equivalent to a car driving 2800 miles. Just imagine how much CO2 we would be reducing if we all cycled and recycled."
Canada's Genest to replace Cochrane at Commonwealth Games
Cycling Canada and Commonwealth Games Canada announced Monday that Tegan Cochrane has decline, for personal reasons, her spot on the Canadian team heading to the Commonwealth Games in April in Australia. She has been replaced by Lauriane Genest.
Genest will join Amelia Walsh for the three women's sprint events - Team Sprint, Keirin and Sprint.
"It is very exciting to see such a young athlete make it to the Games," said Kris Westwood of Cycling Canada.
"Lauriane is only 19 and she has been part of our program for less than a year, but her progression to the international level has been remarkable. It's a great sign for the future of track sprinting in Canada."