Vuelta a España director wants week-long women’s race

Javier Guillén says organisers are working ‘step-by-step’ to introduce a bigger women’s event

A week-long women's Vuelta a España could be in the works (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The director of the Vuelta a España said he hopes to host a week-long women’s race alongside the men’s event.

Javier Guillén said he is working “step-by-step” to introduce a more substantial women’s event taking place in unison with the Spanish Grand Tour.

Currently, the women’s peloton race in the two-day Madrid Challenge by la Vuelta.

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Guillén told Spanish news website La Vanguardia: “We have been doing a two-day test in Madrid for two years, and next year we will go to three days.

“We have to go slowly. I do not know how long it will take.”

The event is held on the last Sunday of the Vuelta, with the 2018 edition consisting of a team time trial and a 100km circuit race in central Madrid.

While Guillén said he hopes to increase the attraction to a one-week race, women’s cycling is still lacking its own flagship three-week race.

Last month, Tour de France organiser Christian Prudhomme said it would be “impossible” to organise a women’s event held alongside the men’s.

The race director says he does not think he could get permits to hold a women’s edition of the Tour in July.

Tour organiser ASO holds a one-day race for women, La Course in July.

La Course was set up in 2014 as a 89-kilomoetre circuit around Paris, held a day before the final stage of the men’s Tour de France.

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It has been held as a one-day event, but organisers ASO decided to add a second stage in 2017.

However, the event returned to a one-day event for 2018.

Last November, UCI president David Lappartient revealed that ASO is working on a week-long version of the Tour de France and that he was pressuring the organiser into extending the event to 10 days.

There are also plans for ASO to hold a women’s Paris-Roubaix in 2020.

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.