Mitchelton-SCOTT women looking for a consecutive victory in Durango-DurangoTue 15 May 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT women head to the Basque country this week looking to defend their victory from last year in the one-day race, Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria.
In 2017 Annemiek van Vleuten broke away and claimed an impressive solo victory and the team return to the race this year full of confidence after a successful mid-season training camp.
The 113km one-day Basque race preludes the longest women's tour on the calendar, Emakumeen Bira, which starts two days later and steps up to WorldTour status in 2018. With the higher status to the following tour, many more team's will race in Durango-Durango, bringing a higher level of competitors than some of the previous editions.
The race is no easy feat with hard, heavy undulating roads and seven climbs along the way with the final second category climb coming just six kilometres from the finish line. It is the perfect test for the team to test their climbing legs and all they have learnt, coming fresh from their training camp.
Annemiek van Vleuten - 2017 winner
"Last year I was sick in the training camp we had before the race, so it was unexpected to win but super cool and I have good memories of the race.
"This year I feel a lot stronger and I think I had better legs this year in the Ardennes so I am feeling better and can go with confidence into Durango-Durango.
"It is a bit sad that we will miss having Lucy Kennedy in the team as she is a super strong climb but we have Georgia Williams, she is climber better every time I see her and together with Amanda Spratt we have a strong climbing team.
"We had a really good training camp where we evaluated our spring campaign and now we are ready to move on to the next part of the season. We showed last year that we always come out of the training camp really strong and I think everyone is very motivated.
"I think there will be more competetors going for the win this year with many good climbers, last year some riders where at the Tour of California but many teams will be in the Basque country this week and it makes it more even and more interesting.
"We can use this race also for a kind of a preparation for the Giro Rosa with myself and Georgia and Spratty, so it is good that there will be the same level of competitors as at the Giro."
Thursday, 17th May: Durango to Durango, 113km
Photo courtesy of Getty Images