Tomorrow, Friday, the Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco de féminas begins. This is the first time in history that this race is scheduled on the international calendar. The UCI is determined that the emblematic races for male cyclists also have their female version. EITB, the public television that has the Basque Government behind it, has also pushed in recent years for Itzulia Women to move forward. In fact, other women’s events have fallen along the way, such as the Emakumeen Bira.
Be that as it may, tomorrow begins, for the first time in history, the race that continues to be an extension of the Clásica de San Sebastián, who has had girls on his calendar for a couple of years now. The first stage will be between Vitoria and Labastida (Álava), the second Mallabia-Mallabia (Vizcaya) and the third San Sebastián-San Sebastián (Guipúzcoa). The best female runners in the world will meet on the Basque roads.
In total there will be 126 runners distributed in 21 teams. Van Vleuten is doubtful because her wrist fracture in Paris-Roubaix leaves her in suspensive points. Of the 21 teams, twelve are World Tour and nine UCI Continental Teams. Among the favourites, and regardless of Van Vleuten’s participation or not, will be Lucinda Brandt (Trek Segafredo), Ane Santesteban and Urska Zigart (Team BikeExchange), Eva Buurman and Tereza Neumanova (Liv Racing Extra), Mavi García (UAE), Liane Lippert (DSM) or Van Vleuten’s partner, Lourdes Oyarbide (Movistar).
“How can we not be excited if it is the first edition of a race that will surely continue in the future? We really want it to start and for the public to turn to these runners”, declared Julián Eraso, president of OCETA, which organizes the test. Today, Thursday, at 6:30 in the afternoon, the presentation of the teams will take place in the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca in Vitoria and tomorrow, at 10, the first start will take place. The Itzulia permanent is located in the Mendizorroza sports center.