The CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta is the first women's cycling race organised by Unipublic. The race was created in 2015, coinciding with the last stage of La Vuelta, and held on an urban circuit in the centre of Madrid. Since then, it has been consolidated as a race in and of its own, emerging as one of the most important stage races on the Women's World Tour calendar.
In its first three editions, the Madrid Challenge (the race’s original name) was held on a single day, around a circuit specifically suited to sprinters. The first winner, in 2015, was the now-retired American, Shelley Olds. She was succeeded, on two consecutive occasions, by Belgium's Jolien D’Hoore, who hold more than one victory at the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta among her honours, in 2016 and 2017.
2018 was a year of growth and development for the race. For the first time, the route was extended beyond the main streets of Spain's capital, but remaining within the region. In a race that lasted the weekend, the first stage was a T.T.T held in Boadilla del Monte. Team Sunweb left no room for its rivals and recorded the fastest time. The Netherlands’ Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb), also finished on top of GC.
In 2019, the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta again included a new feature, switching to an I.T.T, while keeping the same route in Boadilla del Monte. Germany's Lisa Brennauer, a specialist in this type of stage (2014 World Time Trial Champion), took the victory and held the leader’s jersey into Madrid, becoming the current winner of this race.
The CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta continues along its path of unstoppable growth. In 2020, it left the Autonomous Community of Madrid for the first time, venturing into Castilla-la Mancha. Making the most of this expansion, the race added another stage, bringing it to a total of three days of competing. Toledo > Escalona was the first stage of this historic edition, with the victory and lead going to the young rider from the Netherlands, Lorena Wiebes. In more familiar territory, Lisa Brennauer proved her dominion yet again in the individual time trial held in Boadilla del Monte. The German rider took the red jersey from Wiebes and fought to hold onto it until the end. The Italian rider, Elisa Longo Borghini, pushed Brennauer to the limit in the classic final circuit in Madrid, with a sprint to the finish-line where Elisa Balsamo, also Italian, finished first. There were no surprises in the general classification and Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling) defended her title and was crowned winner of her second consecutive CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta.
In 2021, the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta added another stage to its duration. Consisting of four stages held in Galician territory, the race took off from the Manzaneda Ski Resort in the Province of Ourense, with a mountainous inaugural stage won by Marlen Reusser (Alé BTC Ljubljana). During the second stage, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) overtook Reusser in the race’s first ever mountain time trial. Van Vleuten again proved her strength with a performance resulting in a stage victory, giving her the lead the following day as they headed towards Pereiro de Aguiar. On the last day, with a finale on the streets of Santiago de Compostela, Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) beat Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) in the sprint and Annemiek van Vleuten took home the overall victory.
|2015||Shelley OLDS (USA)|
|2016||Jolien D'HOORE (BEL)|
|2017||Jolien D'HOORE (BEL)|
|2018||llen VAN DIJK (NED)||Ilaria SANGUINETI (ITA)|
|2019||Lisa BRENNAUER (GER)||Lucinda BRAND (NED)||Team SUNWEB (NED)|
|2020||Lisa BRENNAUER (GER)||Lisa BRENNAUER (GER)||Trek - Segafredo (USA)|
|2021||ANNEMIEK VAN VLEUTEN (NED)||LOTTE KOPECKY (BEL)||CANYON//SRAM RACING (GER)|