Riders who have inaugurated 2018 season with Spanish campaign will remain in Spain to take on another event, Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta del Sol (14-18.02, 2.HC).
Amaro Antunes, who was spectacular at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, will lead the “orange squad” in this race. Portuguese was 10th overall in his debut and was one of the strongest and most aggressive riders in the mountains.
Jan Tratnik, who has been also performing very well early in the season, will be looking for his opportunities in particular stages and in 14-kilometer individual time trial, which will wrap up the race.
At least one of the stages during Andalusian race should suit sprinters. Marko Kump and Jonas Koch will make sure to take advantage of it. Kamil Gradek, Patryk Stosz and Łukasz Owsian are expected to be valuable helpers to their leaders and attackers at early parts of the stages.
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta features very hilly course and it will kick off with a stage that has 6 categorized climbs on the menu (three 3, two 2 and one 1 category climbs). Finale will be flat tough, so the gaps at the line are not expected to be crucial. Stage 2 is a completely different story. Five KOMs and mountain top finish to Alto de Allanadas (4,5km, avg. 10,8%, max. 17,5%) will separate GC favorites from the rest.
Third day of racing will be relatively flat and that could be the only chance for fast riders to get a good result. In the following stage it’s back to the climbers to fight for glory. Midway through the stage there are two categorized climbs – cat. 1 and 3. – but it’s the uphill finish that will do the most damage in the bunch. Even though it’s less than 2km long, the 18% section will rip the group in pieces.
Last 14 kilometers of the race is an individual time trial around Barbate. The profile is flat, but we should see some exciting racing, since the race against the clock will decided who takes home the final victory.
The entire event will be broadcast live on Eurosport 2.
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta del Sol (14-18.02, 2.HC):
14 February, Stage 1 – Mijas – Granada (197,6km), Eurosport 2 from 15:30
15 February, Stage 2 – Otura – La Guardia de Jaén (140km), Eurosport 2 from 15:30
16 February, Stage 3 – Mancha Real – Herrera (165,1km), Eurosport 2 from 15:30
17 February, Stage 4 – Sevilla – Alcalá de los Gazules (191,2km), Eurosport 2 from 15:30
18 February, Individual Time Trial – Barbate – Barbate (14,2km), Eurosport 2 from 15:30
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta del Sol: Amaro Antunes, Jan Tratnik, Michal Schlegel, Marko Kump, Kamil Gradek, Łukasz Owsian