Annemiek van Vleuten goes into almost every race as the favourite and the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta is no exception. Having won the Giro d’Italia Donne and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift Van Vleuten is looking to complete the set and take the overall in Spain this week.
If she has retained anything near to her form from the Tour, Van Vleuten will go into this race as the GC favourite, especially in the build up to the world championships. Van Vleuten herself, however, claims that the parcours of the Spanish race isn’t hard enough for her to make the difference.
“In general, I think this will be the one from the Giro, the Tour and the Vuelta that is hardest to target, because the route is not that hard. Everyone knows I’m a fan of harder racing, and my chances would be rising with a harder parcours, with longer stages, climbs and mileage,” she is reported as saying in a press release from the race organisers.
Van Vleuten also went on to pick fault with the length and difficulty of the race in relation to its stature.
“When it comes to the race itself, though, I cannot say that the ‘triple’ is a goal in itself. That owes to the fact that, even if the Ceratizit Challenge carries the name of La Vuelta on it, it still hasn’t got the hard stages nor the length, the kilometres, you’d like to find in what you would consider a Grand Tour […]