Chaos at the women’s Vuelta a Andalucía: Guinea-Bissau enters with a men’s team

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The Vuelta a Andalucía Ruta del Sol Elite Women is off to a turbulent start, with the Guinea-Bissau National Team registering a men’s team instead of a women’s team. This unexpected turn of events has thrown the race organisation into disarray, as confirmed by sources to Marca.

Deporinter, the company organising the race, had been in contact with the Guinea-Bissau Federation, arranging participation based on a mutually agreed schedule that aligned with other Spanish races such as those in Eibar and the women’s Volta a Catalunya. Although, neither race has the Guinea-Bissau national team on their startlists. The Guinea-Bissau federation then submitted UCI licences for the male riders to take part in the Vuelta a Andalucía, a discrepancy that was only noticed at the teams meeting on Tuesday night. Despite multiple attempts to reach out, the federation has not responded, leaving the organisers scrambling.

The organisation had already made hotel reservations and completed the necessary arrangements for the team. This issue was compounded when it became apparent that the team’s UCI licences did not match the gender required for the competition. As a result, Deporinter has stated they will seek damages for the disruption caused.

Adding to the chaos, a Mexican team, BMC Patobike, had to withdraw from the race due to visa issues, reducing the number of competing teams from 20 to 18. Deporinter lamented the logistical and financial strain these developments have placed on the event.

The stages of the race are set to proceed despite these setbacks:

  • Stage 1: Castellar de la Frontera to Alcalá del Valle (Cádiz)
  • Stage 2: Arjona (Jaén) to Otura (Granada)
  • Stage 3: Torre del Mar to Vélez-Málaga (Málaga)
  • Stage 4: Alhaurín de la Torre to Pizarra (Málaga)

The last two winners, Arlenis Sierra from Cuba and Katerine Aalerud from Norway, are among the top contenders, but the start of the race is overshadowed by this controversy. The unexpected developments have left a mark on what was intended to be a local highlight for the Andalucian region.

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