An exciting return to the first pedals in the professional peloton
70th Vuelta Ciclista a la Comunitat Valenciana
From 6 to 10 February
Just 48 hours after its official presentation at the OlivaNova Beach & Golf Resort, the second sports project in the continental category of the Alberto Contador Foundation will officially start shooting this Wednesday, February 6, on the routes of the emerging Vuelta Ciclista a la Comunitat Valenciana.
The round levantina, recovered by the brothers Angel Luis and Rafa Casero facing 2016 after seven years of silence, reaches nothing less than seventy editions of existence. And he does so with renewed vigour and a proposal that has seduced since his return to the most suscess of the international squad. The Dutch Wouter Poels, the Colombian Nairo Quintana and the current world champion Alejandro Valverde have been their last three winners.
For the Kometa Cycling Team, their participation in the Valencian race means a return to a special enclave. Not in vain, the roads of the Comunitat were the first scenario where a year ago the team competed. Then, in his last stage, the Italian Michele Gazzoli signed an outstanding eleventh place, a great and meritorious classification for a very young rider, barely eighteen years old at the time, and a newborn project.
The transalpine rider will be one of the seven cyclists representing the Kometa Cycling Team in the Vuelta. He will not be the only one to return to the race. From the start will also be the Luxembourger Michel Ries, present in the seven of 2018. Along with ‘Gazzo’ and Ries, the Madrid team will be joined by Juan Pedro López, Diego Pablo Sevilla, Juan Camacho, José Antonio García and the Italian Stefano Oldani. A team of guarantees to have presence in the race, with skills for all fields, in a test with a rich presence of WorldTour formations and a generous list of illustrious squad.
The Vuelta a Valencia offers a varied route with a time trial (first stage), a high finish (fourth stage), a very clear finish for a massive sprint (final stage) and two stages with demanding intermediate routes that can give a lot of play for escapes and skirmishes. A priori, the inaugural chrono, an inaugural chrono with its complication by the end in slope, will be sketched by those who will fight for a general that will be clarified in the hermitage of Santa Lucía, on Saturday.
“The Vuelta a Valencia is a very important race for me and of course for the team. I started my professional career here and so did the squad; it’s a very important event and personally I’m very happy to be able to come back. This year we are a stronger group and we hope to do well. We are aware of the great level of participation that will be in the race, but we hope to do very well, have fun and set a great group image,” says Michele Gazzoli. Questioned about his eleventh place at the 2018 Valencia finish line, the transalpino says: “I hope to improve it this year, the team and the sponsors deserve it”.
Michel Ries is also confident: “I think this winter’s preparation has been very good. The two concentrations in Oliva Nova have been magnificent and I have also spent ten days in Mallorcas. They have been weeks of many training sessions. Now I am recovering a little bit for next week’s Vuelta a Valencia. It is a very important race. For the team it is a great opportunity. We can compete against big squads and big riders. The Luxembourger values this second year very positively in professionalism: “I think our team this year is much stronger, personally I also think I have taken a step forward from last year to this one. I feel stronger, better, and of course I have more experience, which is very important for any race and more for an event like the Vuelta a Valencia. You face the races with more confidence”.
“At the beginning of the year there is always the question of how fit you are compared to the previous year by the same dates. Yes, compare data from May or June training sessions with those of now or January and you see that the numbers are better… I think I am better. But you also have to be aware that competition is another world. Then you get to the races and that’s where you have to show if you’re well or not. If I notice, in general, at the level of the whole team, that we have taken a step further. But it’s something we have to see in the race. Although I would dare to say that we are all better, when we do a series together, and relays, you can see that we are going faster and easier than last year,” said Diego Pablo Sevilla.
February 6: Orihuela-Orihuela (10.2 km CRI).
7 February: Alicante-Alicante (166 km).
8 February: Quart de Poblet-Chera (194.3 km).
9 February: Villarreal-Ermita de Santa Lucía/Alcossebre (188 km)
10 February: Paterna-Valencia (88.5 km).
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)