Ceratizit Challenge by la Vuelta is a race held in Spain. It first started in 2016 and since then it has been included in the UCI Women’s WorldTour. This elite women’s race is somewhat similar to the La Course ( by Tour de France). This year, the race is said to have the toughest courses so far. The event is spread over 5 stages which include an opening time trial stage and two mountain classification stages.
The race will begin on 7th September and finish on 11 September, which is also the closing day for Vuelta a España. The list of champions at the Challenge includes names like Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Team Ssunweb (2018), Lisa Brennauer (Ger) WNT-Rotor (2019), Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT (2020), and the defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar (2021).
Annemiek van Vleuten is ready to defend her title at the upcoming Ceratizit Challenge by la Vuelta 2022. This will be her second last challenge for the current season. Van Vleuten’s new goal is to take the victory which will be her fourth consecutive one on a Grand Tour. But the Tour comes with its own challenges and can prove to be a difficult one for Van Vleuten.
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Annemiek’s latest victories at the Tour de France Femmes and Giro d’Italia Donne prove that the rider is in her best form. The race is not difficult because of its length or the mountain classification stages, for Annemiek it is not that challenging and she loves to go for the hard races. Like she said:
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 kilometers, you’d like to find in what you would consider a grand tour – it’s also just five days at the moment, with one of them being Madrid’s circuit race
After the success of the Tour de France Femmes maybe the event organizers will pay more attention to making the Ceratizit Challenge by la Vuelta interesting. Annemiek also seems to agree as she said:
I sincerely hope the impact the TDFF, such a breakthrough moment for women’s cycling, has created – which I have already felt – can help it grow, because its effects can hopefully make organisers realise we’re ready for it. All of that said, it’s a nice race I’m so keen to get into
With the 2022 season coming to an end, everyone wants to secure maximum points. These points will be the deciding point for the teams to be included in the 2023 WorldTour. With Movistar already in the 18th position, they need to work hard to work their way up on the charts. The team scored 2942 points in 2020, 4950 in 2021, and 3992 points in 2022 so far.
Annemiek will also head out to the upcoming World Championship being held in Wollongong-Australia. She will be representing the Netherlands. Shirin van Anrooij and Ellen van Dijk will also be joining her to compete in the eight-day tour.
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Van Vleuten already has an outstanding career. She is considered to be an elite pro rider. She scored 10642 points alone at one-day races alone. She scored 1778 points so far in the 2022 season alone. Annemiek’s achievements know no bounds as the rider has 95 wins at GC tours alone. At the classics, her win score is 41. The Dutch rider stands at number one in both the UCI World Ranking as well as the PCS ranking. Nonetheless, she will retire in 2023.
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Featured Image Via YouTube/ Canyon Bicycles