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Following in the footsteps of the Tour de France and La Course, the Tour of Spain introduced a women’s criterium on the final day of the three week stage race for the first time in 2015, called La Madrid Challenge by la Vuelta.
Having joined the Women’s WorldTour in 2016, the Madrid Challenge forms the final race in the inaugural event, on September 11.
The teams that will participate in this race have been announced, with fourteen of the ‘Women’s WorldTour’ teams taking to the start:
Cylance Pro Cycling
BTC City Ljubljana
Lotto Soudal Ladies
Canyon-SRAM, Cervélo-Bigla and Rabo-Liv are the three biggest teams to skip the Madrid Challenge, which is particularly interesting for Rabo-Liv as the Dutch team has three riders in top 10: Anna van der Breggen (currently 6th), Marianne Vos (currently 8th) and 10th placed rider Kasia Niewiadoma, who also leads the youngster classification at the moment.
American teams United Healthcare and Team TIBCO won’t travel to Europe for the final Women’s WorldTour event and neither will the Astana Women team line up.
With a start list of 19 teams, the field is completed by Spanish UCI-teams Bizkaia-Durango and Lointek, the Spanish national selection, Shimano Ladies Power and Lares-Waowdeals.
To get you excited, here’s the Wiggle-Honda video of the 2015 edition:
Boels-Dolmans rider Megan Guarnier leads the Women’s WorldTour by a wide margin, with another four events to go: the Vargarda team time trial and road race, GP Plouay and Madrid Challenge.
Women’s WorldTour standings with 4 events to go
1. Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) – 886
2. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) – 545
3. Leah Kirchmann (Liv-Plantur) – 542
4. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) – 493
5. Evelyn Stevens (Boels-Dolmans) – 484
Young rider classification
1. Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) – 30
2. Floortje Mackaij (Liv-Plantur) – 18
3. Jip van den Bos (Parkhotel Valkenburg) – 14
1. Boels-Dolmans – 2529
2. Wiggle-High5 – 1839
3. Rabo-Liv – 1596