The CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 21 is ready to roll in Galicia

September 1 st 2021 - 20:18 [GMT + 2]

© Baixauli Studio ©

An impressive cast of contenders have arrived in Galicia ahead of four days of action (September 2-5) en route to Santiago de Compostela. Among them, the World Champion Anna van der Breggen (3rd in the UCI World ranking) will participate for the first time in the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta in what may be her last appearance with the rainbow jersey before she defends her titles in Belgium. Other riders from the top positions of the UCI World raking are in Galicia: Annemiek van Vleuten (1st), Elisa Longo Borghini (2nd), Lisa Brennauer (7th, winner of the last two editions in Madrid), Marlen Reusser (10th), Katarzyna Niewiadoma (11th)… 

As La Vuelta also heads to Galicia, the stars of the UCI Women’s WorldTour will battle in a much different environment than the usual settings of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta, around Madrid and in the streets of the Spanish capital. The first three stages are centred around the mountain resort of Manzaneda, with 2 hilly stages (1 and 3) and an uphill time-trial on day 2 (7.3km with an average gradient of 5.8%). The final stage, on Sunday, heads to Santiago de Compostela on flatter terrain (107.4km). The overall winner will be crowned on the Praza do Obradoiro, in front of the cathedral.

Over 340 km, the race will enjoy the support of ŠKODA, who display once again their support for cycling and for equality in sport. They will provide 15 cars to the organisation, including two electric SUVs ENYAQ iV and the hybrid versions of OCTAVIA and SUPERB.

TIFFANY CROMWELL: “THE AMBITION IS ALWAYS TO WIN”

Fresh from her come-back in the UCI Women’s WorldTour at the GP Plouay in France on Monday, Tiffany Cromwell, a true world’s traveller who recently took part in the Belgian Waffle Ride in North Carolina (USA) after representing Australia at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, heads to Spain for a first taste of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta with her team Canyon SRAM Racing led by Poland’s Katarzyna (“Kasia”) Niewadoma who is currently 11th on the UCI world ranking. 

How many countries have you visited this year?

I’ve lost the counting but it’s close to 20! It’s been a great year so far with lots of wonderful experiences and sporting satisfactions. My last time to Spain was in mid-May for the Gran Premio Ciudad de Eibar and I’m looking forward to returning for the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta. It will be my first participation because in previous years, my team didn’t enter due to a busy program until last year but I wasn’t on the line up. I’m excited to discover Galicia. The closest I’ve been to was Ponferrada for the world championships in 2014.

What do you expect from the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta?

It should be great! It’s a different parcours from what it was like in the region of Madrid. It’s mountainous, maybe not the perfect terrain for me but it’s a nice program and an excellent build-up for the world championships.

What are your team’s ambitions?

The ambition is always to win. We have a good team. The competition will be of a very high level but we want to do well, whether it’s the final podium or a stage win. Kasia is a great rider. She loves to race hard and aggressive. As a team-mate, she’s awesome. She’s full of energy and very talented. She was second at the Flèche wallonne féminine this year. The terrain of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta should suit her well. 

What about yourself?

For this race, I’ll have a support role as I probably don’t have enough strength for these climbs. I’m having my best season in many years, I was stronger when I was younger and I’ve had some ups and downs in the last few years but I’ve had some good racing in the classics and going to the Olympics this year has been great. However, I always want more. I might try and get a result in the last stage of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta since we don’t really have a sprinter in the team. In any case, I’ll be there for the team and I hope for a great four days of racing in Galicia.

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