Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team is excited to be lining up for the inaugural Women’s WorldTour Emakumeen Bira in Spain this week. It is preceded by the one-day UCI1.2 Durango-Durango on Thursday.
2016 Durango-Durango winner Megan Guarnier, who finished top seven overall in the Emakumeen Bira between 2013 and 2016, coming only 12 seconds short for the win in 2016, will be competing in the Amgen Women’s Tour of California with the US national team and won’t be taking to the start in Spain.
Instead, a six-rider team headlined by Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen travels to Spain. Former world champion Amalie Dideriksen, 2018 Ronde van Drenthe winner Amy Pieters and Canadian time trial champion Karol-Ann Canuel are part of the line-up as well, just as Jip van den Bos and Anna Plichta.
Emakumeen Bira is the oldest women’s stage race on the calendar. It finally received Women’s WorldTour status in 2018, after moving dates from June to May. Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team is proud to be part of the inaugural Women’s WorldTour edition.
There’s no easing into it as it begins with a 108 kilometre mountain stage with start and finish in Legazpi on Saturday 19 May. The start will be given at 4pm CET with an expected finish around 7pm.
An individual time trial follows on Sunday. An undulating, but overall downhill 26.6-kilometre circuit might shake up the GC on the second day. The first rider will take off again at 4pm CET with the last one the arrive at the finisn around 6.45pm CET.
We continue with another mountain stage on Monday, 114.5 kilometres in length with start and finish in Aretxabaleta. Anything is still possible until the last stage in Iurreta though. With 120 kilometres to complete and lots more mountains to overcome, the GC will be decided in the very last stage.
The official Twitter account of the race is @Oficial_BiraWWT and a new website birawwt.eus offers all the information you need. There will be fifteen-minute highlights of the first three stages each night, with a two-hour live broadcast of the final stage. You can follow via Twitter using #UCIWWT.
Durango-Durango serves as a warm-up on Thursday 17 May. A total of 113 kilometres and seven serious climbs will seriously warm up the legs of the riders. The start is at 3pm CET, with the finish around 5.45pm.
On Twitter, use #DurangoDurango to find live information as there is no broadcast of livestream of the race. More information about the website can be found at duranguesa.com.
Boels-Dolmans for Durango-Durango and Emakumeen Bira:
Anna van der Breggen
Jip van den Bos