Originally a one-day race, the Madrid Challenge has actually become a three-day occasion over the last 5 years. Held at the end of the Vuelta a Espa ñ a, the Madrid Challenge is sort of the ““ La Course ” variation of La Vuelta, albeit one’that doesn ’ t move from year to year.
Since it was very first produced in 2015, the Madrid Challenge has actually constantly occurred, or ended, in the centre of Madrid.
The very first 3 years it was just a one-day occasion, however in the last 2 years, the organizers have actually included a time trial the day previously. This year the race will include 3 phases, beginning on Friday November 6. The very first is a ““ hilly ” brief roadway phase, the 2nd is a specific time trial, and the 3rd is the timeless downtown Madrid circuit race.
Already a great deal of females’’ s groups have actually revealed they will not be taking part in the occasion. With the phases having actually just been revealed the week of the race, and a great deal of concerns surrounding the increasing variety of coronavirus cases in Spain, there has actually been confusion about whether the race was going to take place or not.
.About the race.
Raced on a sort of banana-style backward and forward circuit in the Madrid city centre, the circuit race has actually boiled down to a sprint surface every year. In the premier edition of the race, the American Shelley Olds racing for Alé Cipollini was the winner. The following 2 years Jolien D’’ Hoore won with Boels-Dolmans. In 2018 the Madrid Challenge ended up being a two-day race —– the very first phase was a group time trial, won by Team Sunweb, the second was the Madrid circuit. Georgia Bronzini, then riding for Cylance Pro Cycling and now a group director for Trek-Segafredo, won the lot sprint, while Ellen van Dijk of Sunweb won the general.
The 2019 edition of the race was likewise 2 phases, an ITT and the Madrid circuit, with the ITT won by Lisa Brennauer of WNT-Rotor and the sprint won by Chloe Hosking of Alé Cipollini.
The very first phase is billed as a ““ hilly ” day, a brand-new function for the Madrid Challenge. The hills wear’’ t appear to be huge enough to have a substantial effect on the race.
At just 82.5 km in length, the very first phase is a brief one by WorldTour requirements. The peloton will begin in Toledo and make its method east and after that north to Escalona.
Stage 2, the specific time trial, occurs in Boadilla del Monte —– the very same place as the TTT and ITT of 2018 and 2019.
The ITT is 9.3 km in length and is likewise quite flat.
Finally, the circuit in downtown Madrid is the very same as in years past. The peloton will ride backward and forward on the Paseo del Prado 17 times, comprising an overall of 98.6 km.
As pointed out, there are a couple of groups that have actually currently revealed they will not take part in the Madrid Challenge this year. Boels-Dolmans and CCC-Liv both raced their last occasion of 2020 at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne on October 20th. FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope revealed in a declaration the week prior to the Madrid Challenge that they would be sitting it out due to COVID issues. At the time of their statement, the race had yet to reveal the courses.
Six WorldTour groups and 11 Continental eams will comprise the start list. Here are the possible gamers come November 6.
Lorena Wiebes and Team Sunweb:
With 2 possible sprint surfaces, Lorena Wiebes is a great bet for either the 3rd or very first phase of the Madrid Challenge, and possibly both. In the lowered sprint at the end of Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne Wiebes had an amazing lead-out from her Team Sunweb colleagues and wound up ending up 2nd behind Jolien D’’ Hoore. D ’ Hoore was relegated for differing her line not long after the surface, so Wiebes took the triumph. Wiebes’ ’ other success of 2020 remained in Omloop van het Hageland, which likewise boiled down to a sprint, and Grote Prijs Euromat, a 1.2 that ended up in a sprint.
Lining up with Wiebes will be Leah Kirchmann, another strong sprinter, French ITT champ Juliette Labous, who will be one to look for the phase 2 time trial, and Liane Lippert, who has had a couple of significant lead to 2020, the very first being at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in February, and the most current being her 2nd location at Brabantse Pijl. She was likewise 5th at the World Championships.
All in all, Sunweb is bringing an extremely strong group to the race, and with the method they have actually dealt with the last couple of races of the season, it’’ s clear that their team effort is beginning to gel. They ride together like a well-oiled maker, which hasn’’ t resulted in as numerous wins as one may have anticipated however will be available in useful for phases one and 3 of the Madrid Challenge.
Ellen van Dijk and Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo):
With a time trial on phase 2 Ellen van Dijk is a strong competitor for the general success at the end of the 3 phases. For the last handful of years, Van Dijk has actually been among the greatest TTers in the peloton. This year she was unseated by Anna van der Breggen at the European Championship ITT after having actually won it every year considering that 2016. Still, Van Dijk hung on to 3rd at the World Championship ITT. She likewise had some considerable outcomes on the roadway this year, with a third-place at Liége- Bastogne-Li ége and most just recently 8th in De Panne. In 2018 Van Dijk won the Madrid Challenge in general by belonging to the winning TTT group and after that putting 6th in the Madrid circuit race.
Van Dijk will be racing together with her Trek-Segafredo colleague Elisa Longo Borghini, who just recently ended up being the 2020 Italian roadway champ , after likewise declaring the time trial title previously this summertime.
Trek-Segafredo is likewise bringing Letizia Paternoster to Madrid —– her very first race with her trade group in 2020. Paternoster is a strong track rider who has actually been concentrating on the velodrome prior to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. In 2019 Paternoster took Trek-Segafredo’’ s first string win at the very first phase of the Tour Down Under in Birdwood. She was 2nd in 2015’’ s Madrid Challenge circuit race and 8th in the general.
Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott):
Another rider who has actually peaked for the later-season races and who will be worthing watching on in Madrid is Sarah Roy. Roy has actually remained in the leading 5 of the last 3 races she has actually done: 4th in De Panne in a lowered sprint surface, 5th at the Tour of Flanders, in a group of 15, and 4th at Gent-Wevelgem, in another decreased lot circumstance.
Roy is among the Mitchelton-Scott riders who has actually stepped it up this season, in addition to Grace Brown. When Van Vleuten was sidelined with a damaged wrist, the group that normally focuses on supporting the 2019 world champ Annemiek van Vleuten got to change things up a little. It was just for a couple of races, however Brown won among them and Roy likewise carried out well.
Van Vleuten will likewise be racing in the Madrid Challenge, her last with Mitchelton-Scott, as she will ride for Movistar in 2021.
Roy and Van Vleuten both might be aggressive, as neither can top the similarity Wiebes in a lot sprint, Even so, Roy might come close with the best positioning. We will see.
Alice Barnes (Canyon// SRAM):
Alice Barnes, the 2019 British ITT and roadway champ has actually not had as lots of leading outcomes this year as some other on this list. Provided the courses and the rest of the start list, she has a fantastic opportunity of completing off her season with a win. She was 6th at De Panne in late October and 2nd in the last of the Tour de l’’ Ardèche behind Chloe Hosking. In a sprint, Barnes fasts, so she’’ s guaranteeing for the last and very first phases of the race, and is likewise a smooth time trialist. If she’’ s on the ideal kind, and with some luck, she might take this entire thing, particularly if it boils down to reward seconds.
Also, when you’’ re trying to find Barnes in the peloton, note that due to the cancellation of the British Road Championships this summer season, Barnes is still the existing nationwide champ in both disciplines.
Marta Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana):
Marta Bastianelli has had an on-and-off season. She began the year in Spain where she won the Vuelta CV Feminas, a 1.1, and was 2nd at both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Omloop van het Hageland. Post COVID break she was 10th at Strade Biache and 4th at GP de Plouay, however then did not end up La Course, Liege, or the Italian Nationals on October 31. She’’ s absolutely a strong rider to enjoy, and has actually had some noteworthy efficiencies, so she shouldn’’ t be eliminated.
Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling):
Last, however many certainly not least, the protecting champ of the Madrid Challenge, Lisa Brennauer, has had a fantastic season in 2020. She rode into the leading 10 of the last 5 races she’’ s done, yet did not make it to the leading action. 2nd in De Panne, 4th in Flanders, 3rd in Gent-Wevelgem, ninth on the planets roadway race, and 4th in the Worlds ITT. Hot dang. Previously in the season she likewise won the really odd German nationals roadway title. The race was generally a long criterium, in order to keep the course on closed roadways and keep viewers away.
For Brennauer to protect her win from in 2015 would be huge for the Madrid Challenge, as the occasion’’ s title sponsor is likewise the title sponsor of’Brennauer ’ s group. There ’ s a great opportunity she can do it, offered her time trial and likewise running capabilities.
.How to follow the race.
Unforunately, at this time, there is no indication of live video of the very first 2 phases. The 3rd will be aired on NBC Sports Gold in the United States, FloBikes in Canada, and Eurosport/GCN in Europe.
The Women’’ s WorldTour Twitter account does an exceptional task following the races, so it is extremely suggested to watch on that for a few of the race action. And never ever worry: we will have race reports here on CyclingTips.
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