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Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Ruta Del Sol 2022 Race History
A new race for 2022, the Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Ruta Del Sol or Women’s Ruta del Sol will offer plenty of climbing for the riders. It’s the first time the women will race the Vuelta a Andalucia, with the men’s race dating back to the 1950s. Alejandro Valverde has been the king of the race in recent times with 5 GC victories. For the inaugural women’s race, the parcours contains a pair of uphill finishes and a 3rd stage that contains solid climbing in the middle but ends with a flat finish. The final stage should play out like some of the stages from the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana earlier this season, with tough climbs designed to drop the majority of sprinters but maybe leave one or two who are strong enough. I can only see an out and out climber winning the GC.
Tuesday 3rd May – Thursday 5th May 2022
Live on ??? – race organisers claimed Eurosport/GCN but I can’t see it in their schedules
Tuesday 3rd May – Stage 1 – 13:30-15:00
Wednesday 4th May – Stage 2 – 14:30-17:00
Thursday 5th May – Stage 3 – 14:00-16:00
All times are BST
Twitter: #VCAEliteWomen or #VCAwomen
Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Ruta Del Sol 2022 Contenders
For me, Mavi Garcia is the overwhelming favourite at this year’s Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Ruta Del Sol. It’s not a top drawer field and with only 2 Women’s WorldTour teams, there aren’t too many of the truly elite GC options. Garcia is the best climber on paper here and should be a contender for Stage 1 and then manage the time gaps the rest of the race. Teammate Erica Magnaldi has got the #1 bib for the team which may suggest she is getting the leadership duties. She’s a strong climber too, though maybe a tier below Garcia. Against this start list, Magnaldi also has a strong chance of making the podium and maybe the victory.
Movistar’s best chances are probably hunting wins on Stages 2 and 3. Arlenis Sierra has shown that she’s in great form in 2022 for her new team. Top-10s at the Tour of Flanders, Liege Bastogne Liege and Dwars door Vlaanderen shows she has lost none of that punch. I suspect that Stage 1’s climbing might be too much for her and prevent a proper GC attempt. A fully fit Sarah Gigante would be a rider in contention for GC though. We’re yet to see her best in 2022 after off-season surgery and she was pulled from the Ardennes races. I’d love to see the Australian remind us why there’s so much hype about what she can achieve. Finally for Movistar, their Colombian Paula Patino might have a chance on the major climbs. She’s been just outside of the top-10 at both Brabantse Pijl and Flèche Wallonne but she’s not been able to really work for herself so far this year. She may get a chance at the Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Ruta Del Sol.
The Sopela pair of Nadine Gill and Claire Steels will be hoping for a strong result. We’ve seen Gill do well at higher levels like the 2020 Giro Donne where she started strongly and faded slowly through the week. So far in 2022, she’s been racking up the top-10s in Spanish national races for fun, including a win at Gran Premio Igartza. She had a respectable Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, with 23rd on Stage 3 her best result. 8th at GP Féminin de Chambéry will be encouraging at this level. Claire Steels has had a similar year to her teammate. Plenty of top-10s in Spanish national races and a win at Zaldibarko.Emakumeen Saria. She was a little bit further back at GP Féminin de Chambéry in 19th. The pair are two of the best in-form climbers in Spain at the moment.
German rider Ricarda Bauernfeind was picked up by the new Canyon SRAM Generation team this year and has been impressive already. Mostly doing Spanish national races, she was 4th at GP Féminin de Chambéry, a result that was actually her worst of the season so far. She won GP Cidade de Pontevedra and has been 2nd in both of her other 2022 races. She will be a rider to watch out for on Stages 2 and 3 I believe.
Catalina Soto Campos had an ok season at NXTG last year doing the Belgian calendar but joining Bizkaia-Durango for 2022 seems to worked out well. 4th at GP Igartza and victory at Balmasedako Emakumeen Saria have been good results. So was winning the Chilean national TT title. Her only other UCI races of the year so far have all been DNFs back in Belgium & the Netherlands. I can see her doing particularly well on Stage 3.
Another on one of the domestic Spanish teams is Idoia Eraso Lasa of Laboral Kutxa. She’s on a run of 6 top-10 results in national Spanish races, twice making the podium in 3rd place. She’s probably a touch behind some of the bigger names but could spring a nice surprised by making the top-10 at this level.
We’ve not seen Massi-Tactic’s Aurela Nerlo for almost 2 months now. Her last race was way back near the start of the spring classics season at the GP Oetingen. She was 12th there, in the front group and only behind some big name sprinters and their leadouts. If Stages 2 and 3 become sprints of sorts then Nerlo could be in with a shot.
Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Ruta Del Sol 2022 Outsiders
Dani Shrosbree got herself in the break at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana back in February. Now back racing in Spain again, it’ll be interesting to see what she can do. She won a stage of the domestic 2-day The Peaks race and finished 5th on the rolling climbs there. She’s been a little quieter at UCI level with 48th at Ronde de Mouscron but she can get herself in breaks and aim for jerseys nonetheless.
Greek rider Varvara Fasoi will be racing for Eneicat-RBH Global. She’s had a good 2022 season with a best result of 8th over in Turkey at the GP Justiniano Hotels race. It’s always tough to tell how well the results in Turkey transfer to the main UCI races but against this field we might see Fasoi take a notable result.
Finally, I’ve gone with another Chilean in Aranza Villalon. She’s another Eneicat-RBH Global rider and she started the year well. Right at the start of February she won the Trofeo Costa de Almeria and then things went a bit quiet until finishing 3rd in the Chilean national TT champs. It’s a bit of a dart throw but it’s hard to ignore a rider with a win already this year.