From the 17th to the 21st of February, the Caja Rural – Seguros RGA riders will ride their Fuji bikes in both Vuelta a Andalucía and Volta ao Algarve.
In the south of Portugal, Volta ao Algarve kicks off with a stage for the sprinters. The GC riders will have to be ready on the following day with the uphill finish on Alto de Foia. Stage 3 is an 18 km long individual time trial, while the sprinters get another chance to fight for glory on stage 4. The classic Volta ao Algarve finish on Alto de Malhão comes on the final day of racing. Nothing is settled until the riders cross the line on this short but steep climb.
Sports director, Josemi Fernández:
“This is a very complete race with uphill finishes, a time trial, undulating stages, lots of wind and strong teams. We will do our best and aim for stage wins. We have a good team here with Eduard Prades who’s in very good shape and already knows what it takes to stay with the best riders in Volta ao Algarve”.
Lineup for Volta ao Algarve: Eduard Prades, Ricardo Vilela, Lluis Mas, Domingos Gonçalves, Antonio Molina, Héctor Saez, Diego Rubio & Jonathan Lastra.
The mix of stages is very similar in Vuelta a Andalucía. Here, the first stage is also one for the sprinters. Stage 2 is predominantly flat but a 6.6 km climb of 5.8 % within the last 30 km will have a big impact on the outcome. The third stage of the race is very undulating and it can easily turn out to be much more difficult than it looks on paper. Despite three hard days of racing, the first big change in the GC won’t come until the riders take on the 21 km time trial in Alhaurín de la Torre. Those who aren’t good against the clock will have a last chance to move up in the general classification on the last day with an uphill finish on Alto Peñas Blancas. This 14.8 km long ascent has an average gradient of 6.2 % and multiple parts of double digits gradients in the bottom of the climb.
Sports director, Eugenio Goikoetxea:
“We bring a strong team to the race. Our focus will be on winning stages with riders like Carlos Barbero and Sergio Pardilla who’s back racing again and feels very good at the moment”.
Lineup for Vuelta a Andalucía: Sergio Pardilla, Carlos Barbero, David Arroyo, Javier Aramendia, Fabricio Ferrari, Hugh Carthy & Jaime Rosón.