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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