Team BikeExchange women continue racing in northern Spain with Australian climber Amanda Spratt joining the squad, adding climbing strength and depth for two hilly one-day races, GP Eibar and Durango-Durango, on Sunday 16th and Tuesday 18th May respectively.
Alongside Spratt will be local Basque climber Ane Santesteban, plus in-form Janneke Ensing giving the team plenty of options. The trio will be backed up by a strong supporting base with recent Setmana Ciclista Valenciana stage winner Urška Žigart, Italian sprinter Arianna Fidanza and Dutch domestique Moniek Tenniglo.
The first race, GP Eibar is one for the pure climbers, finishing up the hard Arrate climb which is often used in the men’s Vuelta Basque Country and Vuelta a España. Tuesday’s Durango-Durango also features plenty of climbs with the squad returning as defending champions, following on from Lucy Kennedy’s win in 2019 and Annemiek van Vleuten’s triumph in 2020.
Team BikeExchange at GP Eibar (16th) & Durango-Durango (18th):
Janneke Ensing (NED)
Arianna Fidanza (ITA)
Ane Santesteban (ESP)
Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Moniek Tenniglo (NED)
Urška Žigart (SLO)
“This will be my first-time racing Eibar and also up the Arrate climb. It will be special to race up such an iconic climb steeped in so much cycling history. I already watched this year’s Basque Country, the stage when the men finished up the Arrate climb, so it was good to get an idea of how it is.
Being in the Basque Country, this race is of course a huge goal for Ane Santesteban so I’m looking forward to racing together with Ane and the whole team. I am sure we can carry good momentum and vibes from the previous races into this one.
I am feeling good and recovered after the Ardennes. I needed to take some easy days after being sick but I’m feeling good now. I always love racing in Spain.”
“I know the race Eibar really well. I have raced lot of times in this area when I was younger, it’s like my home race and I am looking for it. Arrate is a tough but really special climb, and I am really happy that also our race finishes in the top there.
It’s easy to race with Spratty. We understand each other really well in the races and she is strong and really smart, I think we can do really well.
In Valencia we raced aggressively and tried something with everybody. All the riders we were supporting our leaders in the previous races so it’s also nice to change the mindset and go for it, all have our own opportunities to race aggressively and in these next races will be a little bit the same, so I hope it ends with a victory.”
Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director
“For GP Eibar and Durango-Durango we are adding strength to the team with Spratty coming in and we have seen Ane Santesteban and Janneke Ensing both showing good form in the recent races, so they will both get their chances as well.
Both races are hilly with Eibar finishing up a hard climb in Arrate and that should suit are team quite well.”
2021 Race Details:
Sunday, 16th May: GP Eibar, 117km
Tuesday, 18th May: Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria, 115.7km
Photo courtesy of Getty Sport