After winning a stage in 2021, Team BikeExchange-Jayco return to the second edition of the women’s WorldTour stage race Vuelta Burgos Feminas, hungry for that top-step of the podium, after two weeks of consistent podium finishes in northern Spain.
Last year’s 10th place overall finisher Amanda Spratt will lead a strong six-rider squad alongside in-form Kristen Faulkner, fresh from her third place finish overall at Itzulia. Giving the team a third option in the climbs will be Ane Santesteban, who will return to the fold, having recovered from illness which saw her pull out of Itzulia on day two.
Also continuing their block of racing in Spain will be crucial support riders in New Zealander Georgia Williams and Slovenian rider Urska Zigart, plus Dutch domestique Nina Kessler who comes in fresh to join the squad and brings a touch of speed.
Like last year’s edition of Vuelta Burgos, the race concludes with a 10km ascent to Lagunas de Niela which should sort out the general classification standings, with the first two stages over undulating terrain, before a category three climb to finish with on the penultimate stage.
However, before this second WorldTour race of the season gets underway in Burgos, the riders will also have another opportunity to fight for victory with the one-day preluding race, Durango-Durango, on the 17th May.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-up:
Kristen Faulkner (USA)
Nina Kessler (NED)
Ane Santesteban (ESP) *Burgos only
Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Georgia Williams (NZL)
Urska Zigart (SLO)
“I’m feeling happy and excited to continue this block of Spanish races with Durango and then Burgos. I’ve raced Durango 12 times so let’s say I am familiar with it!
The heat has been a shock to the system lately but after a few races already in it, I hope my body responds well in this next block. Durango usually comes down to the final hard and steep climb so I hope to have good legs and be there. I am always aiming for improvements each race.
Burgos will be exciting and I think with the addition of Ane again after illness, we will have a very strong team. It looks like a couple of faster stages but then a harder uphill one and the same long final climb we raced up last year to finish the tour.
The stages offer a bit of everything, so I think we can aim to use our numbers. We saw how strong the team was at Itzulia and also how impressive Kristen was in her first race back after a month off in March. We can start Burgos with big motivation and big goals.“
Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas (Sport Director)
“We have different options for Burgos, I think Spratty is only going to get stronger coming out of Itzulia, it was her first race after a small break following the Ardennes and so as we can see she is continuously progressing with each race. She is a strong rider and like in Vuelta Burgos, we are looking for a top result in Durango.
I think Burgos is going to be played out over two stages pretty much, the final two that have climbs to finish with. We also have Ane Santesteban coming back to join us so that gives another strong card to play, alongside Kristen Faulkner of course, who has shown in these first Spanish one-day races and her podium finish in Itzulia that she has really good legs at the moment.”
2022 Durango-Durango Race Details:
Tuesday, 17th May: Durango – Durango, 113km
2022 Vuelta Burgos Feminas Race Details:
Thursday, 19th May: Stage 1, Pedrosa del Principe to Aranda de Duero, 121.9km
Friday, 20th May: Stage 2, Sasamon to Aguilar de Campoo, 129km
Saturday, 21st May: Stage 3, Medina de Pomar to Comlejo Karstico Ojo Guarena, 113km
Sunday, 22nd May: Stage 4, Covarrubias to Lagunas de Niela 125.1km
Photo: Getty Images