The road season is heating up as we get further into February with a number of stage races starting in quick succession across Spain, France and Portugal, which highlights the beginning of road racing in Europe. And there is gravel mixed in across three continents as well, all covered on Cyclingnews.
Headlining this week’s races is Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), who will not be starting his season at the UAE Tour but instead decided to race the second edition of the Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior and the Vuelta a Andalucía to open his 2023 account.
The Slovenian will be joined on the start line by Enric Mas (Movistar) and the inform Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers), ready to fight it out on the five hilly stages across Andalucía at Ruta del Sol. Meanwhile, top sprinters such as Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal-QuickStep) and Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Pro Cycling) will battle it out on the two flatter stages in Portugal.
Later in the week comes the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. Feminas, a 2.Pro women’s race that has numerous WWT level teams lined up to compete and the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, a three-day race in Southeastern France. In South America, the eight-stage Transcordilleras Rally Colombia will conclude at the end of the week, crossing all three sections of the Andes mountains.
Read on for more information about all the racing and Cyclingnews’ coverage.
Before jumping straight in, here’s a round-up of the weekend’s biggest results.
Vuelta a Andalucía – Ruta del Sol
After the Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior on Monday there will only be one day off before stage racing really kicks off in Europe at the Vuelta a Andalucía on five hilly stages in one of Spain’s oldest races.
With a startlist full of stars, the Ruta del Sol is unlikely to disappoint, headlined by superstar Tadej Pogačar, former Giro d’Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart who showed strong form in Valenciana, and a trio of Spanish GC contenders in Mikel Landa, Enric Mas and Carlos Rodriguez.
If the Slovenian is anywhere close to his best, he could easily win the first four stages but there will be chances for puncheurs and climbers to attack the two-time Tour de France champion along the route.
Stage 1 will somewhat decide the general classification with two category 1 climbs providing…
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