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The long-awaited details of the La Vuelta Femenina route have finally been revealed.
The seven stages of the third ‘grand tour’ for women were announced on Tuesday evening at a presentation in Torrevieja, which will host the opening stage, a team time trial.
Despite the number of stages increasing over the past few years, many riders and teams have slammed the previous editions of the race for not being long or hard enough.
“When it comes to the race itself, though, I cannot say that the ‘triple’ is a goal in itself. That owes to the fact that, even if the Ceratizit Challenge carries the name of La Vuelta on it, it still hasn’t got the hard stages nor the length, the kilometers, you’d like to find in what you would consider a Grand Tour – it’s also just five days at the moment, with one of them being Madrid’s circuit race,” 2022 winner Annemiek van Vleuten said ahead of last year’s race.
In addition to Van Vleuten’s comments, FDJ Suez manager Stephen Delcourt spoke out about the race at a team press conference last month.
“For me, there is only one grand tour that respects the women. At this date, we have no stage details of the Giro and the Vuelta. We start the Vuelta first week on May. We don’t know. We have only rumors about the details if we want to respect the girls and to say we invest in women’s cycling, they need to respect this part.”
Now, with just over two months until the start of the race in its new calendar slot on May 1, the details of all seven stages have now been released.
Stage 1 – Torrevieja – Torrevieja (TTT), 14.6 km
Stage 2 – Orihuela – Pilar de la Horadada 105.1 km
Stage 3 – Elche de la Sierra – Roda, 148.2 km
Stage 4 – Cuenca – Guadalajara, 133.1 Km
Stage 5 – La Cabrera – Mirador de Peñas Llanas (Riaza), 129,2 Km
Stage 6 – Castro Urdiales – Laredo, 107,7 Km
Stage 7 – Pola de Siero – Lagos de Covadonga, 93, 7 Km
After the announcement, Van Vleuten praised the inclusion of the brutal Lagos de Covadonga climb on the final, decisive stage.
“To end in such a famous location is essential for the race’s media impact as it results in more coverage for the event. I’m glad La Vuelta Femenina by Carrefour.es has chosen such as well-known climb. I’m excited, I know what to expect, it’s a very tough climb. It’s also good that we have some flat stages, as they also help to make the race very exciting. It’s a very complete Vuelta.”
The presentation also revealed that a prize will be awarded to the first rider to reach the summit of the highest point of the race in memory of 18-year-old Estella Domínguez who tragically died in a hit-and-run incident while out training earlier this month.