Three editions in less than two calendar years, in addition to great institutional support reinforced by great support in the ditches and a growing attention of the new communicative narratives, have revitalised the notoriety of a Tour of Extremadura that became professional and went a decade without being organised. The Vuelta a Extremadura is a grand tour, but in 2023 its place in the calendar is somewhat surprising and unpredictable. Few stage races are remembered in the Spanish calendar in mid-March for the elite and U23 categories, at least in recent years.
Beyond these disquisitions, the race now promoted by the Federación Extremeña de Ciclismo returns with a parallel women’s race over three stages and a five-day route where there will be plenty of terrain to break up the peloton. Team time trial, uphill finish, steep slopes in a mountain pass, windy areas, open terrain… A much more varied menu than it seems that many of the best teams on the scene and the fittest cyclists of the moment will have to manage.
For this race the technical staff headed by Rafa Díaz Justo has called Luca Bagnara, Alex García, Arnau Gilabert, Sebastiano Minoia, Andrea Montoli, Fran Muñoz and Gabriele Raccagni.
Arnau Gilabert will make his season debut in an unbeatable setting to fine-tune with the pedal stroke that competition brings: “It’s time for my debut and I’m looking forward to it after having started the year a bit slower due to some physical problems. The training sessions have gone well, but in a way the race also has a bit of a ‘training camp’ in terms of rhythm and so on. But if we get a chance, we’ll make the most of it”.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director: “It has been many years since a stage race of so many days was organised at this stage of the calendar and that in itself is an important novelty that draws a scenario of uncertainty in terms of performance, chaining of efforts and so on. The Vuelta a Extremadura always ends up being very demanding and although it does not include high mountains, there will be no shortage of orographic difficulties, not forgetting the team time trial on the first day. La Desesperá, which is on the second stage, is really very tough and will make the race more dynamic. For our part, we are travelling with a very compact team that combines fast, powerful cyclists, good climbers and more complete profiles to go day by day and see where the evolution of the race leaves us”.
Stage 1 (15 March): Plasencia – Plasencia (8.1 km TTT).
Stage 2 (16 March): Talayuela – Jarandilla de la Vera (153.8 km).
Stage 3 (17th March): Arroyo de la Luz – Valencia de Alcántara (130.8 km).
Stage 4 (18th March): Guareña – Hornachos (161.8 km).
Stage 5 (19th March): Ribera del Fresno – Jerez de los Caballeros (145.7 km).