Season opener at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana
We will start our 2018 road season with the four-day stage race Setmana Ciclista Valenciana in Spain starting Thursday 22 February. Our team with our new look design, will line up with Alena Amialiusik, Hannah Barnes, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Kasia Niewiadoma and Christa Riffel. 2017 Zwift Academy winner Tanja Erath will complete the roster as she has her first ever UCI 2.2 race.
“We’ve had a nice training camp here in Spain for two weeks and I think everyone is really ready to race now,” said Hannah Barnes.
“Our team has had a chance to see some of the stages. I think from what we’ve seen I would say that the first and last stages will be more for the climbers and a chance to change the general classification. The second and third stages I’m going to predict a bunch sprint,” added Barnes.
The tour at a glance:
Stage 1 Rótova – Gandía. A 118km stage with two climbs each 6km in length. The second climb from Barx with an average gradient of 6% has the race organisers touting it as the “leg hurt” of the day and where the tour leader will be decided.
Stage 2 Castelló – Vila Real. A 115km day based around the coastal town of Castelló, it’s anticipated as a possible stage for the sprinters however the 7km 8% climb of Desert de Les Palmes is likely to have something to say about such predictions. Four corners in the final kilometre may play into the cards for a well-timed attack.
Stage 3 Sagunt – València. Spectators in the departure town of Sagunt will see the peloton for both intermediate sprints of the day. While the riders climb L’Oronet the onlookers can race to the very centre of Valencia where they’ll see the winner cross the line after the 137km stage.
Stage 4 Benidorm – Benidorm. Riders from our team will see only familiar roads on the tour’s final stage as the team’s had a recent two week training camp based out of Benidorm. The three laps of the 38km circuit will decide the winner of the second edition of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana.
Watch the final of every stage here, or follow on Twitter with #SCV2018.