The women’s peloton will kick off their European road racing season in Spain at the Vuelta CV Feminas on February 6 followed by the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, officially named SC - Volta Comunitat Valenciana Femines, from February 17-20.
Shifted to late-spring last year due to calendar adjustments surrounding COVID-19, the pair of events have returned to their February spots on the international calendar as popular season openers.
The fourth edition of the Vuelta CV Feminas (1.1) will get the European season rolling with a 92km one-day race from Paterna to Valencia, held on the same day as the final stage 5 of the men's Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
Lotte Kopecky won the inaugural edition in 2019 while Marta Bastianelli won in 2020 and Chiara Consonni won the race last year.
An official start list has not been published, however, organisers confirmed on its website at least three Women's WorldTeams – UAE Team ADQ, Movistar and Uno-X Pro Cycling – and 18 Continental teams for the one-day opener.
Movistar will send a powerful home team that includes Lourdes Oyarbide, Sara Martín, Alicia González, all from Spain, along with Paula Andrea Patiño from Colombia and Barbara Guarischi from Italy.
Top contenders also include former champion Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ), Susanne Andersen (Uno-X), and Alba Teruel (Bizkaia Durango).
Vuelta CV Feminas will be followed by the four-day Setmana Ciclista Valenciana from February 17-20. The organisers have not revealed the four stages or the official start list but they have confirmed a total of 25 participating teams including six Women's WorldTeams: FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Jumbo-Visma, Uno-X Pro Cycling, Movistar, UAE Team ADQ and Trek-Segafredo.
The event will embark on its sixth edition. Former champions include inaugural winner Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig in 2017, Hannah Barnes in 2018, Clara Koppenburg in 2019, Anna van der Breggen in 2020 and Annemiek van Vleuten in 2021.
Last year's event was moved to May after a shift in event dates due to COVID-19. It was the kick off to 12 days of racing in Spain that also included Emakumeen Nafarroako Women's Elite Classics, Navarra Women's Elite Classics, Gran Premio Ciudad de Eibar and Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria, which all led into the Women's WorldTour Vuelta a Burgos Feminas.
This year, the event has returned to its February spot on the calendar, making it the perfect race for teams that are fresh off training camps in the area to begin their racing campaigns.
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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 cycling from the community and 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 men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.