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With so many races being outright canceled for the start of the 2021 pro cycling season, the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana still plans to push on.
While the race organizers announced the five-stage start and finish towns, details on the routes have not yet been made public, reports Wielerflits.
Due to current and anticipated COVID-19 restrictions, event organizers may want some flexibility should the route need to be modified at the last minute. Keeping the route under wraps may also discourage fans from lining the route.
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With so many teams near the Costa Blanca for pre-season training camps, the race will draw top talent. Of course, some travel restrictions may impact what riders and teams can make it to the race if they are not already in Europe.
The start list for the 2021 race currently features Egan Bernal, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Enric Mas, Alejandro Valverde, Simon Yates, Greg Van Avermaet, Vincenzo Nibali, and Arnaud Démare.
The first stage, from Elche to Ondara, features four climbs. Stage two should be a flat affair on the roads near Alicante. Stage three — the queen stage with more than 4,000m of elevation gain — will conclude on Alto de la Reina. Stage four is a 21km individual race against the clock from Xilxes to Almenara. The final stage is another relatively flat route, from Palencia to Valencia.
The Tour of Valencia has been on racers’ radar since 1929 — with a pause from 2008 through 2015 — as an early-season tune-up after pre-season training camps.
Alejandro Valverde remains the rider who’s tabulated the most wins; the Spaniard took home the GC in 2004, 2007, and 2018.
Tadej Pogačar won the 2020 edition, the first year the race had been added to the newly-created UCI ProSeries classification.
2021 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
Stage 1: Elche – Ondara- (166 km) Wednesday, February 3
Stage 2: Alicante – Alicante (184 km) Thursday, February 4
Stage 3: Torrent – Alto de la Reina (160 km), Friday, February 5
Stage 4: Xilxes – Almenara (21 km, ITT), Saturday, February 6
Stage 5: Paterna – Valencia (95 km), Sunday, February 7