Team BikeExchange will line-up at the new-look four-day Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta with a squad packed with climbing talent ready for battle.
Spaniard Ane Santesteban is back in action as she lines-up on familiar roads, with multiple Australian champion Amanda Spratt also returning to racing after the Olympics.
Lucy Kennedy and Urška Žigart give the squad further climbing options, while the experienced Janneke Ensing and double New Zealand champion Georgia Williams will provide valuable support across all terrains during the four-days of racing.
The race continues to grow each year, and the seventh edition will see an extra stage added, taking the event to four stages for the first time. The peloton will tackle a varied parcours; with an opening hilly stage followed by an uphill time trial, with the race concluding on flat stage for the sprinters.
Team BikeExchange at Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta
Janneke Ensing (NED)
Lucy Kennedy (AUS)
Ane Santesteban (SPA)
Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Georgia Williams (NZL)
Urška Žigart (SLO)
“After the Olympics and San Sebastian I took a few days off because I was feeling a little bit tired, but then I did a really good block of training at home and I feel really ready to start racing again specially in La Vuelta, because in the last years I have done lot of training in this area of Manzaneda.
This year the race is harder than the previous years, in Galicia the flat roads don’t exist! Also, the second stage with the uphill TT at altitude will be super hard finishing at 1500 metres. But we start with a really strong team and we’re ready to fight as a team.”
“I’m really looking forward to being back with the team, it feels like a long time since the Giro! It’s a new race for me and completely new courses for everyone as well so that adds a bit more excitement.
I’m not sure where the form will be after the bigger break without racing, but I’m mostly looking forward to racing well with the team and supporting my teammates for some good results. I’d love to take an opportunity in a stage, but my priority will be to support my teammates. It’s like a home race for Ane so I know she will be extremely motivated and that also gives me extra motivation!“
Alejandro González-Tablas (Sports Director)
“We have a great group of strong climbers here and this will be important for the race this year with more climbing than the previous years.
It is great that we also have Spratt back after the Olympics, she is always an asset as a road captain for the team and Ane is obviously motivated for a good performance here at home in Spain.
The uphill time trial will be key for the general classification, but already on stage one we have lots of climbing so there could already be big time gaps.”
2021 Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Race Details:
Thursday, September 2nd: Stage 1, Estación Invernal Cabeza de Manzaneda – A Rua, 118.7km
Friday, September 3rd: Stage 2, Estación Invernal Cabeza de Manzaneda – Estación Invernal Cabeza de Manzaneda, 7.3km (TT)
Saturday, September 4th: Stage 3, Estación Invernal Cabeza de Manzaneda – Pereiro de Aguiar, 107.9km
Sunday, September 5th: Stage 4, As Pontes – Santiago de Compostela, 107.4km
Photo Courtesy of Getty Sports.