An edition that will mark a before and after: La Vuelta Femenina, the first ever with this name, will be held From May 1 to 7, it will consist of 7 stages for a total of 730 kilometers and will have a tremendous finish in the Lakes of Covadonga. An unbeatable presentation menu that marks the evolution of women’s cycling, in general, and in Spain, in particular. In 2015 the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta was born, a one-day event ending in the capital coinciding with the arrival of the men’s edition. In 2018 and 2019 they went up to two stages, while in 2020, already with the name of Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, they reached three. For 2021, four and with a different ending to Madrid for the first time: in Santiago de Compostela (like the men’s that year). In 2022 the increase was up to five days and in 2023, under the sponsorship of Carrefour, the most important jump came: same name as the men’s race and transfer of dates, from September to May, being the first great women’s tour of the year. The impulse of the Higher Sports Council (CSD), important in this ‘revolution’.
The Torrevieja International Music Conservatory Auditorium hosted the presentation of a race whose director will be Fernando Escartínwho has been the technical director of the men’s round for a decade, being one of the most important figures for Javier Guillén, his counterpart in said event. “This is a necessary and exciting project that we have been working on for years and it is now a reality”, said a satisfied Escartín. Three flat stages, two in the mountains, one in the middle of the mountains, and a team time trial will pass judgment. Precisely, the latter will be the one that opens this year’s edition in Torrevieja, with a 14.5-kilometre route, similar to the opening of La Vuelta 2019 for men, that will leave the first woman in front of the general classification.
Then it will be the turn for the three presumed volatas, which will be held consecutively with arrivals in Pilar de la Horadada, La Roda and Guadalajara. Then, the day will come when the first important differences in the general classification will be marked with the start of the mountains, since the first category ascents to Navalafría and the Mirador de Peñas Llanas, the latter as a goal in the Segovian town of Riaza, will be a high-level test. For the weekend, after transfer from Riaza to Castro Urdiales, on Saturday there will be a fully Cantabrian stage, the cataloged medium mountain, with two levels of second that aims to be the most unpredictable day for the resolution of the race.
The main course, the final firecracker, Sunday will be a great day on the Asturian roads with the end in the Lakes of Covadonga. This peak made its debut in La Vuelta in 1983 and, since then, its 12 kilometers with an average gradient of 8% have left iconic images of cycling in some famous sections such as La Huesera. Now, on the 40th anniversary of his first major exhibition in this sport, will be the highlight of a Women’s Tour that aims high, both in terms of expectations and growth in all aspects. Annemiek van Vleuten, the Movistar star, is the current champion and she will be, at 40 years old and in her last season as a professional, to try to defend a crown that she also achieved in 2022 in the Giro and Tour. The Italian race, of ten stages, will start at the end of June, while the French round, of eight, in July, the day the men’s race concludes. The great female events are beginning to have their independence and La Vuelta Femenina is one of the greatest examples. Countdown.