Preview: Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2024

Next up on the Women’s World Tour’s stage racing tour of Spain is the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas. Following on from La Vuelta Femenina and Itzulia Women, the race is likely to see a familiar cast of faces, though some of the line-ups may be shuffled to bring in fresh legs.

The race has been held every year since 2015, with the exception of the covid year in 2020, and it has been part of the UCI Women’s World Tour since 2021. This will be the ninth edition of the race which takes place in the autonomous community of Castile and León in the north of Spain. The women will take on a total of 489.6km of racing across four varied stages, with opportunities for sprinters and climbers alike.

The race takes place from Thursday 16 May to Sunday 19 May.

 

The Route

Stage 1: Villagonzalo Pedernales – Burgos, 123km     

    

Lumpy terrain will probably not deter the faster riders from sprinting at the end of stage 1 of the Vuelta a Burgos, as the race travels a circuitous route north from the start location of Villagonzalo Pedernales, before heading east and then back south to the finish in the city that gives the race its name.

Three category three climbs stand between the peloton and victory, the first coming after 52km, the second two contained within the final third of the profile. The run-in to the finish is far from simple, with various lumps and bumps separating the hopefuls from the finish line, but it’s likely that the day will conclude with a sprint finish – whether it’s from a large or reduced bunch, depends on how the day plays out.

 

Stage 2: Briviesca – Medina de Pomar (Alto de Rosales), 123km

Stage 2 is a different prospect altogether, though it’s exactly the same in terms of distance. It only features an additional 200m of ascent spread out across the day but the placement of the climbs will have a direct impact on how the race unfolds.

Heading towards the coast from the town of Briviesca, north-east of Burgos, the women hit the first categorised climb of the day after just 24km, and at 7km, the Alto de Barcina will give the opportunity for a breakaway to put distance between themselves and those hoping to take the race to the finish. The day is largely flat after as the bunch heads further north to complete a circuit around Medina de Pomar, concluding with an ascent of the Alto de Rosales. The climb is 3.8km in length and will challenge the legs with an average gradient of 5.2%, rising up to the finish line where the general classification will be reordered ahead of the second half of the race.

 

Stage 3: Roa de Duero – Melgar de Fernamental, 122km   

         

The third stage begins south of Burgos and travels north, to the east of the city. Though it is still a bumpy stage, it’s the day with the least amount of overall altitude gain and with no categorised climbs to split the bunch, on paper it’s the most likely to come down to a bunch sprint.

 

Stage 4: Peñaranda de Duero – Canicosa de la Sierra, 122km

 

The final stage of the race features the greatest number of altitude metres, with over 1,800, and it will ultimately decide the general classification. Beginning in Peñaranda de Duero south of Burgos and heading east, the final stage ensures a complete tour of the region, and doesn’t offer much in the way of respite all day long. The parcours begins mostly rising up false flat all the way to the first categorised climb of the day, a category 3 ascent which arrives after 73km, but it’s the leg-breaking Alto de Rozavientos that will make the decisions in the overall competition. 3.5km of climbing at a daunting 9.3% average gradient, the climbers who can handle short, steep kickers will appreciate this opportunity to explode away from the bunch, from where they will need to hold their nerve down a 10km descent before the final 5km drag towards the finish line.

 

Riders to Watch

Unsurprisingly, for this third Spanish stage race, the startlist comprises similar teams to the past couple of races.

The headline act is Demi Vollering of Team SD Worx, who continues her march in the hope of securing a third consecutive GC victory in Spain. She is joined by Lorena Wiebes, who returns to the squad with her eyes trained firmly on the two likely sprint stages. She will go head-to-head with Elisa Balsamo who returns for Lidl-Trek.

The race also sees the return of Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig for FDJ-SUEZ. The French team have missed their Danish superstar, who excelled earlier in the season at the Tour Down Under, and she will be hoping to return with a bang in Burgos. Though expectations may remain relatively low as her form will be unknown heading into the race, the parcours suits the former Danish national champion well, and she will be one of the favourites to perform well on GC.

Emma Norsgaard returns for Movistar and will hope to make an impact on the flatter stages, though their leader for GC will be Liane Lippert, and UAE Team ADQ bring a strong and varied line-up which includes Silvia Persico and Karlijn Swinkels, both of whom have been on top form in recent days. Elise Chabbey leads for Canyon//SRAM following a strong performance at Itzulia Women.

As far as potential stage winners go, Carina Schrempf (Fenix-Deceuninck), Anouska Koster (Uno-X Mobility), Josie Nelson (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL) and Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ) could all be ones to watch out for.

Riders to watch (GC)

5-stars Demi Vollering

4-stars Marlen Reusser, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig

3-stars Liane Lippert, Elise Chabbey

2-stars Neve Bradbury, Shirin van Anrooij

1-star Ella Wyllie, Silvia Persico

 

Summary

When – Thursday 16 – Sunday 19 May

Where –Spain

What – 4-day stage race

TV Coverage: Eurosport, Discovery+

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