Mitchelton-SCOTT and Trentin back for more in Murcia

Tue 12 Feb 2019

Volta a la Comunitat Valencia stage winner Matteo Trentin will be on the hunt for more early season success as Mitchelton-SCOTT moves further down the Spanish coast line for the 39th edition of the Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia Costa Cálida.

The two-day race will also see Jack Bauer and Michael Albasini return to racing for the first time in 2019, with both riders coming directly from a team training camp in southern Spain, while Dion Smith, Robert Stannard and Damien Howson all return from racing in Australia. 

Mitchelton-SCOTT team:
Michael Albasini (SUI, 38)
Jack Bauer
(NZL, 33)
Damien Howson (AUS, 26)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 29)
Dion Smith (NZL, 25)
Robert Stannard (AUS, 20)
Matteo Trentin (ITA, 29)

The Course:
The race has expanded to a two-day race for the first time since 2012 and it will open with what looks to be a sprinter-friendly 188.8km stage that Trentin will have his eye on.

The second day will see the peloton head into the mountains as they tackle the Category 1 Alto Collado Bermejo, with the summit of the climb coming at 102km of the 180.3km stage.

The positioning of the climb will give the quick-men a glimmer of hope of clawing back the climbers before they hit the Category 2 Alto de la Cresta del Gallo, which begins at 20km before the finish and will define who wins the overall.

The Competition:
With little to no race days in the legs for the majority of the peloton, the Vuelta a Murcia will be another chance for the bunch to test their early season form. Last year’s winner Luis León Sánchez (Astana Pro Team) will no doubt be one to watch, as will the man who he beat in 2018, five-time winner and world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team).

The Past:
Last year Trentin won the bunch kick for 4th place having successfully making it into the right side of an early split after unexpected crosswinds. Chris Juul-Jensen also took a top 10 placing back in 2017 after Valverde had attacked solo to take the victory.

Matteo Trentin:
“It looks like the first day is mainly going to be downhill, flat and super-fast to the sprint finish and the second stage is going to be very similar to the stage I won at the 2017 Vuelta.”

“I’m really looking forward to these stages because my form is quite good after my performance in Volta a Valenciana and the whole team is pretty strong and are really motivated.”

Matt White – Sports Director:
“The team's plan is to continue with the work we have been doing over the winter months with our big picture goals in mind. In saying that, we need to go through the process of what it takes to win and it's in these types of races where we can practice our skills and cohesiveness”

“The two factors that are really going to shape the race are the weather conditions, no doubt it will be nice weather, but they can get incredibily strong winds in this part of Spain in this period of the year. And the other factor is the climb on Stage 2 and what it will do to an early season peloton”

2019 Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia Costa Cálida - Race Details:
Friday, 15th February: Stage 1, Yecla - San Javier, 188.8km
Saturday, 16th February: Stage 2, Beniel - Murcia, 180.3km

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.