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Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2021 - Preview

World Champion Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx)
World Champion Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas is the only Women's WorldTour event held this month, with the four-day race set to take place from May 20-23 in Spain. Although it is in a class of its own, if offers a grand finale to a series of 12 days of dramatic and mountainous racing on Spanish soil in May.

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas was the only top-tier women's stage race left standing this month after Tour of Chongming Island was moved to October and the new Itzulia Women's stage race was cancelled. 

In the lead-up to the event, the peloton competed at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana won by Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar), along with four one-day races; Emakumeen Nafarroako Women’s Elite Classics, also won by van Vleuten, Navarra Women’s Elite Classics won by Arlenis Sierra (A.R. Monex), Gran Premio Ciudad de Eibar, won by Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx) and Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria also won by van der Breggen.

Riders to watch

Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx) - The double world champion has secured two back-to-back victories in Spain this week – at Gran Premio Ciudad de Eibar and Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria – showing her top form in the hilly one-day races, particularly against one of her main rivals Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar). The dynamics will change during the four-day stage race but with ample punchy climbs and three hill-top finishes, the parcours suits her perfectly.

Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) - Another outright favourite, van Vleuten has also secured two back-to-back wins at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and Emakumeen Nafarroako. She had no intention of winning the opening stage race in Valencia and preferred to work for her teammates but a solo breakaway on stage 1 saw her take the overall lead, maintain her lead during the four days of racing and then win the overall title. She was all-in for the one-day races and especially the Vuelta a Burgos, aiming to secure another top-tier win for her home team Movistar.

Mavi Garcia (Alé BTC Ljubljana) - The punchy terrain offered at Vuelta a Burgos is perfect for an aggressive rider like Garcia, who loves to show her strengths on climbs and in breakaways. The Spanish champion is always willing to gamble for the victory but she is also a strong stage racer, having finished second overall to van Vleuten at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and last year taking second overall at Tour de l'Ardeche and ninth overall at the Giro Rosa.

Ane Santesteban (Team BikeExchange) - Santesteban, a former Spanish champion, is one of the strongest climbers at Team BikeExchange and although she was hired to help Amanda Spratt in races like the Giro Rosa watch for her to shine at her home race Vuelta a Burgos. She finished inside the top-10 in the three one-day races that preceded the WorldTour stage race showing that she is ready for another top result. The team also showcase the winning duo of Amanda Spratt and Grace Brown to form a powerful team.

Mikayla Harvey (Canyon-SRAM) - Sixth at Emakumeen Nafarroako and fifth at Gran Premio Ciudad de Eibar make Harvey one of the standout favourites for Vuelta a Burgos. She finished fifth overall and won the best young rider award at the Giro Rosa last year while racing for Equipe Paule Ka, and has the potential to develop into one of the strongest stage racers in the world at Canyon-SRAM. She lines up with teammates Kasia Niewiadoma and Omer Shapira, who are also contenders for the punchy stage race.

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) - Uttrup Ludwig's late-race comeback to finish third at Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria was one of the more impressive performances in Spain this week. She was part of a decisive breakaway and, although she couldn't fend off the chase behind from van Vleuten and van der Breggen, she fought hard to reconnect with the leading duo in the closing kilometres of the last climb. It was a show of sheer will and strength that bodes well coming into Vuelta a Burgos Feminas.

Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) - Is re-building her form after a stellar Spring Classics campaign. She has been relatively quiet during the events in Spain, but has still been part of the finals with third places at Emakumeen Nafarroako and Gran Premio Ciudad de Eibar. Watch the Italian Champion continue to re-builder her winning form at the first top-tier stage race of the season.

DURANGO SPAIN MAY 18 Anna Van Der Breggen of Netherlands and Team SD Worx Annemiek Van Vleuten of Netherlands and Movistar Team Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig of Denmark and Team FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope sprint at arrival during the 20th DurangoDurango Emakumeen Saria 2021 a 1157km stage from Durango to Durango Landscape scduranguesa DurangoDurango2021 on May 18 2021 in Durango Spain Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig tries to close the gap to Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten in the last kilometre at Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The Route

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas offers the field four days of challenging racing in Spain. The parcours includes a total of six categorised climbs throughout the four days of racing with a mountaintop finish at the end of the stage 4 finale at Lagunas de Neila.

Stage 1: Villadiego to Sargentes de la Lora, 100km

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2021 - Stage 1 Profile

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2021 - Stage 1 Profile (Image credit: Vuelta a Burgos Feminas)

The racing will kick off on Thursday, May 20, with a 100 kilometre race from Villadiego to a hilltop finish at Sargentes de la Lora. The first 50 kilometres of the race are undulating and then the peloton will reach the first categorised climb over Alto de Coculina (4.2 per cent) at the 53k mark. There are two back-to-back uncategorised climbs that follow before the peloton will descend toward the final climb, Alto de la Lora (6.7 per cent), although the QOM for points is only positioned partway up the ascent and the riders will then need to race another six kilometres uphill to the finish line at Sargentes de la Lora.

Stage 2: Pedrosa de Valdeporres to Villarcayo, 97km

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2021 - Stage 2 Profile

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2021 - Stage 2 Profile (Image credit: Vuelta a Burgos Feminas)

Stage 2, on Friday, May 21, will offer the field a 97 kilometre race from Pedrosa de Valdeporres to Villarcayo. There are two category three climbs on route; Alto de Bocos (4.9 per cent) at the 27 kilometre mark and Alto de Retuerta (6.7 per cent) at the 75 kilometre mark, before the field tackles an undulating 20 kilometres to the finish line in Villarcayo.

Stage 3: Medina de Pomar-Ojo Guareña, 115.4km

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2021 - Stage 3 Profile

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2021 - Stage 3 Profile (Image credit: Vuelta a Burgos Feminas)

Stage 3, on Saturday, May 22, could be a day for the punchy riders. The 115.4 kilometre race starts in Medina de Pomar and finishes in Ojo Guareña. The climbing begins near the end of the stage as the peloton will contest the Alto de las Hoyas (5.3 per cent) at the 95 kilometre mark followed by the short but steep climb to Complejo Karstico Ojo Guareña.

Stage 4: Quintanar de la Sierra to Lagunas de Neila, 121.6km

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2021 - Stage 4 Profile

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2021 - Stage 4 Profile (Image credit: Vuelta a Burgos Feminas)

The final day of racing at the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas, on Sunday, May 23, is 121.6 kilometres from Quintanar de la Sierra to the summit of Lagunas de Neila. The first 90 kilometres are undulating and the climbing begins with the Alto del Collado de Vilviestre (5 per cent) at the 98 kilometre mark. The final ascent begins at roughly 105 kilometres and the riders will continue to climb to the finish line at Lagunas de Neila where the overall champion of the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas will be crowned.

Teams

  • Movistar Team
  • Alé BTC Ljubljana
  • Trek-Segafredo Women
  • Team BikeExchange
  • FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
  • SD Worx
  • Canyon-SRAM Racing
  • Team DSM
  • Liv Racing
  • Valcar-Travel & Service
  • A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
  • Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling
  • Cogeas-Mettler Pro Cycling Team
  • InstaFund La Prima
  • Bizkaia Durango
  • Sopela Women's Team
  • Eneicat - RBH Global
  • Rio Miera - Cantabria Deporte
  • Massi - Tactic Women Team

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