The Vuelta a Burgos in northern Spain is poised to have a stellar start list if health authorities approve the race in late July. The two teams, stacked with Tour de France favorites, are among a dozen WorldTour teams on a preliminary start list for the five-day race.
Other teams expected to start include Movistar, Mitchelton-Scott, Trek-Segafredo, Bora-Hansgrohe, UAE-Team Emirates, Bahrain-McLaren, NTT Pro Racing, and Cofidis. Several other second-tier ProTeams will also race.
“We have 40 teams that want to come to the Vuelta a Burgos,” regional sports minister Ángel Carretón told Burgos Deporte. “We are convinced that all the top world-class riders could be in Burgos.”
A complete start list will be finalized in the coming weeks as the European peloton comes out of its long slumber due to the coronavirus, but all eyes will be on the Burgos tour as it will mark the first major European men’s road race since March.
Set to run July 28 to August 1, the 2.Pro-ranked race is expected to draw a slew of WorldTour teams flocking to the race that typically is overshadowed in a normal season.
There’s nothing normal about 2020, and the race would be the first event WorldTour teams could start on the revived racing calendar since the coronavirus shut down racing across Europe. Teams that have not raced since Paris-Nice in mid-March will be looking to use every opportunity they can to return to racing.
The race, long a favorite warm-up event for riders heading to the Vuelta a España, typically only sees a smattering of WorldTour teams. In 2019, only four WorldTour teams raced, with Iván Sosa (Ineos) winning for the second year in a row. For 2020, even more WorldTour teams could start in Burgos, including Astana, Israel Start-Up Nation, and Deceuninck-Quick-Step.
This week, Giro d’Italia champion Richard Caparaz (Ineos) confirmed that Burgos is part of his calendar as he prepares for a defense of the pink jersey.
“It’s great to see Vuelta Burgos will be going ahead,” said Mitchelton-Scott sport director Matt White. “We will now wait for UCI/team and Spanish health protocols to be finalized before we lock in more concrete plans. After a four-month break from racing, everybody involved can’t wait to get season 2020 V2 [Version 2.0] back on the road.”
Late last month, local government officials confirmed they would continue to support the race financially despite worries that money would be needed to be spent on more pressing needs. The final decision on whether the race happens depends on how the health situation develops.
Things are looking better in Spain. Hit heavy with more than 27,000 deaths due to COVID-19, the Spanish government been easing restrictions over the past few weeks as new cases and fatalities have dropped dramatically. Pro cyclists living in Spain were cleared last month to train outdoors, and restaurants, beaches, and businesses are starting to reopen. Officials hope to have borders reopened across much of the Eurozone by early July.
With the Tour de France slated to run August 29 to September 20, teams will be looking to give their riders as many opportunities to race as possible. The WorldTour calendar resumes August 1 at Strade Bianche, and a string of stage races scheduled in August in France dovetail into the Burgos race’s spot on the reshuffled racing calendar.
Stages for the 2020 edition of Vuelta a Burgos:
Stage 1, July 28: Burgos-Burgos
Stage 2, July 29: Castrojeriz to Villadiego
Stage 3, July 30: Sargentes de la Lora to Picón Blanco
Stage 4, July 31: Gumiel de Mercado to Roa
Stage 5, August 1: Covarrubias to Lagunas de Neila