I'm glad to present you the european pre-season races, made for the very first contest of this year.
Here the caracterictics of the two races :
Trofeo Alejandro Valverde
A tribute to Alejandro which will crown a puncher like him, able to climb the mountain.
- 5 stages for a total distance of 849km in Murcia, Espana
- 2 plain stages, 2 medium mountain stages and 1 high mountain stages
- 12 KOM Sprints including 2 top finishes classified in first and second categories.
Stage 1 : Murcia - Cartagena, medium moutain, 188km
We begin this tour with a stage that Valverde would certainly like, medium climbs and the last one forcing the leaders to defend a place they don't have yet by attacking.
Stage 2 : Murcia - Murcia, plain, 201km
The leaders would took this day as a comfort. The stage will bring the riders to Alicante and back by the flatest stage of the tour. No chance to gain time but sprinter will enjoy on of their two chances to win a stage.
Stage 3 : Cieza - Monte Ardal, high mountain, 153km
This is the hardest stage of the tour with a top finish at Monte Ardal. However, we will not see here the top climbers easily take down the good punchers as the final climb is quite short. This is not the last day to win the trofeo but some will certainly lose it here.
Stage 4 : Jumilla - Yecla, plain, 162km
This plain stage are not easy. The pack will circle around two cities which are the places of the very first two win of Alejandro Valverde when he was a young cyclist. This would be a difficult stage as teams will protect their leader from a long-term attack, riding these roads which are never completely flat.
Stage 5 : Monteagudo - Cresta del Gallo, medium mountain, 143km
The last stage will crown a puncher. The riders will leave Monteagudo, birthplace of Alejandro Valverde to reach the Cresta del Gallo, the main climb near Murcia, one of the place where Valverde acquired his climbing capacities. After the three first climb, the last one will show us the winner, the red jersey who succeed to control his opponent or the winner of the stage who took enough time to win.
Giro di Sardigna
A very difficult stages races that only a complete leader can win
I've tried to respect the sardinian language so every place name is written in sardinian
- 6 stages for a total distance of 905km (including 49km TT) in Sardinia, Italy
- 2 plain stages, 2 medium mountain stages, 1 high mountain stages and 1 flat ITT.
- 24 KOM sprints including 3 1st and HC KOM.
Stage 1 : Carbonia - Aristanis, plain, 165km
The very first stage will take riders north and the first pink jersey for the leader of the race will fall on the shoulder of a sprinter with no doubt.
Stage 2 : Macumere - Luvula, medium mountain, 162km
Second stage and here comes the moutain. Slow beginning at first with only shorts and regular slopes but hard enough to eliminate the men out of fitness in this early season.
Stage 3 : Garteddi - Thiniscole, ITT, 49km
The third stage of the tour will be raced against the clock. Leaders and climbers who wants the final win will have to maintain the pressure on the opponents by losing the less time possible.
Stage 4 : Thiniscole - Sàdili, medium moutain, 187km
This stage looks like the second one. Not so much difficulties along the road but enough to take the weak men apart. It will be difficult to choose between the necessities of not losing time and the obligation of saving energy for the next stage.
Stage 5 : Tortoli - Rifugio Sa Crista, high moutain, 177km
The queen stage will bring riders along 7 climbs without praticcaly no rest at all. The last climb of the day will be the most difficult of the tour. No doubt that the top 5 of this stage will be the top 5 of the tour but in wich order?
Stage 6 : Laconi - Casteddu, plain, 163km
Going down the moutain to bring down the pressure. The final stage is a flat one with no difficultie. Just enough time for the winner to celebrate