Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2023 Race Preview

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas History

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas sprung up from a national-level race in 2019 to 2.1 level. The first edition was won by Norwegian Stine Borgli with a bit of a different parcours to the race it has now become. There was no major summit finish, which has been included in both of the Women’s WorldTour level editions in 2022 and 2021. Anna van der Breggen won the first WWT edition by just 3″ from rival Annemiek van Vleuten

Both summit finishes so far have had spotty TV coverage, with the top of Lagunas de Neila proving to be tough to provide TV pictures from. So when Demi Vollering won there last year, we pretty much only saw the final 500 metres. She’d had a bad day during the race so wasn’t quite in GC contention, Instead it was Juliette Labous who had the most consistent race to take her first WWT stage race win. 

It’s tough to see in the profiles below, but Stage 2 finishes with a short steep climb in Lerma – around 300m at 8%, perfect for any puncheur to try for a stage victory.

Previous Winners

2022
Juliette Labous
2021
Anna van der Breggen
2020
Not held

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2023 Profiles

Stage 1 Profile

Stage 2 Profile

Stage 3 Profile

Stage 4 Profile

TV Coverage

Thursday 18th May 2023 to Sunday 21st May 2023

Live on Eurosport/GCN

Stage 1: 13:30-15:00
Stage 2: 13:30-15:00
Stage 3: 13:30-15;00
Stage 4: 13:30-15:00

All times in BST

Twitter: #VueltaBurgos

Startlist: FirstCycling

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2023 Contenders

The favourite here will once more be Demi Vollering. Whilst she did lose out on the GC win at Itzulia Women to her teammate Marlen Reusser, it was part of a plan and possibility that the Swiss rider might sneak it on the last day. The Lagunas de Neila climb here will prevent that sort of thing from being repeated. She had a rare off day here last year, losing 49 seconds the day before the summit finish and couldn’t quite claw it all back. After her final day attack, Marlen Reusser has a great shot at making the podium but it’ll be interesting to see how she does on a pure climb like this. She’s building up to a GC stint at the Tour de Suisse soon. Lorena Wiebes will also be here and that could mean all of the first 3 stages could go her way. There’s a small uphill blip at the end of Stage 2 but as a winner of Nokere Koerse before, she should be able to navigate that perfectly fine.

After winning the Vuelta Femenina, Annemiek van Vleuten came back down to earth a bit at Itzulia Women where she was 5th in GC. She couldn’t keep pace with Demi Vollering, nor have an answer to Reusser’s move on the final day. Bonus seconds kept her off the podium in the end. The summit finish here should see her finish behind Demi Vollering again but probably ahead of the chasing pack if she does indeed race. No Annemiek, so the team’s hopes will rest on Mareille Meijering. That’s not a direct like-for-like replacement naturally but Meijering has been impressive this season and has got off to a strong start at Movistar. She was 12th at Navarra Elite Classics, which should’ve been higher but for some strange team tactics and 8th this week at Durango Durango. She could match her 10th place in GC from the UAE Tour Women. 

Ane Santesteban took a strong 2nd place at Durango-Durango this week, impressively catching Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio after she’d made what looked like the race-winning move. The Spaniard is in good form at the moment with 9th at Navarra Elite Classics too. Durango Durango is a bit of a home race for her and she was down in 22nd heading up to Lagos de Covadonga in the Vuelta Femenina. I can see a potential strong result but she’s probably going to be outside the top-10 on the summit finish stage here.

Claire Steels continues to be strong after scoring 3rd place at Durango Durango this week. The Brit is probably showing that she’s a better one-day racer than stage racer however and none of her GC placings have been in the top-10 despite strong results. It’s potentially going to be similar here where Steels will do well at Vuelta a Burgos but reaching the top-10 will be progress. Tamara Dronova should get the nod in the sprints, the Russian is looking back in form recently. A 6th place on a Vuelta Femenina stage was topped with 2nd at Navarra Elite Classics behind solo winner Riejanne Markus. She was also climbing well at Durango Durango only for a poorly timed mechanical to take out out of the front group at the base of the final climb.

Soraya Paladin had a solid Itzulia Women, with 2nd on the 2nd Stage helping her take 13th in GC as the final day saw her lose time. She’s been consistently decent so far in 2023 with many top-10s across plenty of different races. She’s got a shot at any small group sprints that occur as well as maybe knocking around the bottom reaches of the top-10 on the climb to Lagunas de Neila. There will also be plenty of eyes on Chloe Dygert after her showing at Vuelta Femenina. Despite her best efforts she couldn’t quite manage to take the leader’s jersey and was pulled from the race by her team after the tough finish up to Mirador de Peñas Llanas. Her watts per kilo is decent in isolation and she’ll be a decent threat across all of the stages.

Silvia Persico
Silvia Persico

UAE Team ADQ’s Silvia Persico will be a contender again. The Brabantse Pijl winner finished 6th here last season, the same position she finished on Lagunas de Neila. She was maybe a little quieter in the Vuelta Femenina than expected, finishing 12th in heading to Lagos de Covadonga. Instead, Erica Magnaldi took the team’s strongest result with 8th in GC instead. Magnaldi is climbing well at the moment and should be a contender on the final stage of this year’s Vuelta a Burgos. She almost took a win at GP de Chambéry already this year and is probably having her strongest season so far. Chiara Consonni will have a chance to win on Stages 1 and 3. Both days are lumpy and probably not guaranteed to be sprint finishes but most GC riders will be wanting to keep their powder dry on Stage 3 in particular. She took her first win of the 2023 season at Trofee Maarten Wynants recently and will look to add to that at Vuelta a Burgos Feminas.

Clara Koppenburg was 4th here back in 2021, after climbing to 5th place on Lagunas de Neila. That’s where the chances of the Cofidis rider will be linked with again. We’ve started to see the German come back into some strong form after 2 years of serious injuries. 2nd at reVolta was a strong result and she also pulled out a decent time trial at Bretagne Ladies Tour on her way to 12th in GC. Given the chance for a summit finish here, she will have a strong finish.

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio should be a contender at this year’s Vuelta a Burgos after winning Durango Durango this week. The South African attacked hard on the climb but whilst she initially distanced her rivals, they did actually catch up with her again later. It was her sprint that sealed the win rather than going clear on the climb. She’ll want to see how she does against her rival Demi Vollering but I think a podium spot is her best shout. In theory, Lotta Henttala will be going for stage wins in the sprints. She looked good earlier in the Spring but a bout of illness that wouldn’t go away derailed her season a bit. 2 months since her last race she raced at Durango Durango this week but it wasn’t a course for her. Maybe temper expectations but she can do well if back to her best.

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig is back for the first time since Liege-Bastogne-Liege. It’s been a quiet 2023 so far for the Dane, where her promotion to 3rd at Strade Bianche is still her best result of the year. It’s probably a sign that the biggest GTs are her focus this season and the summit finish on Lagunas de Neila will be a test of where she’s at during Vuelta a Burgos. Teammate Grace Brown is back to winning ways after taking the victory at Bretagne Ladies Tour last week. It followed a strong break win at GP Morbihan, so 3 victories in a week from the Aussie. She’ll probably be in a support role here, so things should play out differently. FDJ-Suez also has Clara Copponi for the sprints. She took a 4th and 6th at the Vuelta Femenina and is starting to show some of the form that saw her take a WWT win at the Women’s Tour last year. She’ll find it tough to beat Wiebes but will have a shot in a thin sprint field.

Elisa Balsamo is going to be up against Lorena Wiebes for the first 3 stages here. We’ve not seen her for a month since Amstel Gold Race as her classics campaign ended with several low down placings. If she can recapture some of the earlier season form, she’ll be a threat to Wiebes again. Shirin van Anrooij is potentially a bit of a wildcard for the GC. She’ll have no issue attacking and doing well on the first 3 days and we know she climbs well on shorter climbs, this will be an interesting test to see how she fares on the big summit finishes.

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2023 Outsiders

Pauliena Rooijakkers
Pauliena Rooijakkers

Ella Wyllie has been in very good form recently. The Kiwi finished 3rd at Navarra Elite Classics and then took the confidence from that result into Itzulia Women. There she was consistently just outside of the top-10 on all 3 stages which allowed her to finish 12th in GC and win the youth jersey. I’m not fully sure how she will fare on the summit finish but she could be a contender again.

I’ve struggled to know exactly where to place Pauliena Rooijakkers this season. The Dutch rider waited until around this point last year to come into form and start getting results and we saw the first inclining of that last week at Itzulia Women where she was 10th. She was 9th here in 2021, where 4th place on the final climb pushed her up the standings. The lower end of the top-10 is possible again.

Silvia Zanardi should have a chance to sprint at the end of any of the first 3 stages at Vuelta a Burgos. The Italian does relatively struggle when it comes to the highest level races though still. 11th was her best result on a Vuelta Femenina stage and she wasn’t in contention at Itzulia Women. Yet in the right field on the right day, she wins or features in the top-10.

It’s been a fairly quiet 2023 season so far for Katrine Aalerud but the Norwegian took her first top-10 at Durango Durango by finishing 6th. That bodes well going into the final part of Spain month that she can deliver some strong results. Especially with the team’s biggest names all not racing here – with no Van Vleuten, Lippert, Mackaij and Norsgaard, there’s a chance for someone on Movistar to step up.

Gaia Masetti is coming off a good run of form in France at both Morbihan races. The Italian won La Classique Morbihan, the first race of the pair and then finished 7th the following day in the GP Morbihan which was won with a solo break by Grace Brown. She was on the attack at Durango Durango and probably represents the attacking option here for AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step.

Top 3 Prediction

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