Unfinished business for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Madrid ChallengeWed 11 Sep 2019
Mitchelton-SCOTT women return to Madrid for the two-day Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, with unfinished business after taking a close second place in the road circuit stage last year.
This year the race will be two-stages long once again, but with a short individual time trial on day-one, followed by the standard short and technical city centre circuit race for stage two.
The squad line-up with riders well suited to the flat and technical course with former Australian criterium champion Jess Allen, former Australian road race champion Gracie Elvin, New Zealand time trial champion Georgia Williams and Dutch domestique Moniek Tenniglo. Last year’s runner up Sarah Roy will make the Madrid Challenge her final race of the season before undergoing surgery.
In 2018 the event was held over two-days for the first time, with a TTT for stage one followed by the usual road criterium stage. Mitchelton-SCOTT placed third in the TTT event before a large and unexpected breakaway group successfully survived to the finish line on the second stage, with Roy sprinting to second place behind Georgia Bronzini. This year will be the fifth edition of the event held on the same day as stage 21 of the men's La Vuelta a España.
For 2019 there will be a short 9.3kilometre flat individual time trial to open things up and with plenty of roundabouts and tight corners, it will be one for the fast explosive riders with this fairly technical loop.
The road circuit race will be held on the same course as previous editions, with three long straight roads with tight u-turns at each end throughout the short 11.6kilometre laps. The tight corners always make it an interesting and hard circuit, with riders almost coming to a standstill and then needing to accelerate out of the corners three times every lap.
“I think the new format in Madrid is nice as we don't have a lot of individual time trials throughout the year. I think it's pretty special to have a time trial added, as gives the national champions like Georgia Williams in our team, the chance to show off their national colours.
“Stage two is typically a sprinters circuit race but last year Sarah Roy and I were in a reduced bunch to the finish. With the team we’re bringing I think we can use our aggressive strengths to try upset the sprint teams.
“I really love this race and the atmosphere around it. I'd love to see it go into a few day stage race if possible but it's a great fast race to sharpen up for the world champs at the end of the month.”
Alejandro Gonzales - Sport Director
“The Madrid Challenge is of the last races in Europe for the team this season and we’re excited to race in Madrid and it seems to be even more exciting with the swap of the TTT for an ITT.
"The team will all give it a crack in the ITT, which is a bit technical and will require a good recon. Then for the road race, the goal will be to go there and support a sprinter, but as we could see last year, we need to be aware of dangerous breaks.”
Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta Details:
Saturday 14, Sept: Stage 1, Boadilla del Monte - Boadilla del Monte, 9.3km ITT
Sunday 15, Sept: Stage 2, Madrid - Madrid, 98.6km
Photo courtesy of Getty Images