Mitchelton-SCOTT women hoping to maximise double opportunities on offer at the Madrid ChallengeWed 12 Sep 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT head to Madrid this weekend for the penultimate round of the UCI Women’s WorldTour series, the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, which extends to two-days for the 2018 edition.
Sprint start Jolien D’hoore, the winner of the past two editions of the race, will be Mitchelton-SCOTT’s main hopeful for the circuit stage, whilst stage one team time trial, is the perfect dress rehearsal for the squad heading into the world championships the following weekend.
With the women’s race preluding the final stages of the men’s Vuelta a Espana in Madrid city centre, the top level field of competition is expected.
The opening stage is a short but important, 12.6km team time trial, where the Australian outfit hope to get everything right on the day and perform at their highest level as one last hit-out in the discipline before their world championship goal.
The TTT is followed the next day by the usual city circuit race where the riders will complete 17laps. However, this year the course has been modified with the short drag taken out and instead leaves a hot-dog style circuit with two tight corners, which should suit the skills and speed of team sprinter D’hoore.
“This year the course is a bit different. It’s flat and only two corners in one lap so it’s even more of a criterium now. I just need to focus myself on my final sprint like I did in the two previous years.
“The day before is a good test to see where we stand in the TTT, we will have some strong legs out there. It’s quite short but that makes it even harder. Hopefully we can gain some confidence after our ride before heading to Innsbruck.”
"It's been two-years since the team has raced the Madrid challenge and I'm really excited we are part of the event again this year. The atmosphere is incredible racing in Madrid centre before the Vuelta comes in, it gives me goosebumps.
"This year's the event is even better having included a team time trial as stage one. This event is super important for our team, although this TTT is a lot shorter than the world championships it's a great opportunity to line up on the start line, race together and get the best out of each other.
"Jolien has won the last two editions of the circuit race so will definitely want to win this again. We have a super strong lead-out team here that will be looking after Jolien and making sure she gets the best possible delivery to the finish line."
Previously in the Madrid Challenge
Sprinter D’hoore has won the last two editions of the race whilst riding for a different team. Mitchelton-SCOTT have only raced the event once previously in 2016 where Jess Allen placed 14th.
Saturday, 15 Sept: Stage 1, TTT Boadilla del Monte, 12.6km
Sunday, 16 Sept: Stage 2, Madrid circuit race, 100.3km
Photos courtesy of Getty Images