Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana: Preview
Jan 31 2017 06:12 am CET

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana: Preview
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana: Preview


The Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, also known as the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana, will take place in the east of Spain between the 1st and the 5th of February.

The first edition of the Spanish race was held in 1929 but it didn't consistently appear on the calendar every year since. Throughout the years this Volta has had several names like the Vuelta a Levante, la Vuelta a las Tres Provincias and the Vuelta a Valencia.

The history of the race is full of important names. Riders like Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Stephen Roche, Alexandre Vinokourov, Alejandro Valverde and Alessandro Petacchi have all taken the overall victory throughout the more than eighty years of the race's existence.

Despite the quality of the cyclists that have started in the race, it suffered the consequences of the Spanish economic crisis and between 2009 and 2015 it didn't take place due to the withdrawal of its main sponsors. But things changed in 2016 when the former winner of the 2001 Vuelta a España, Angel Casero, put all the effort into bringing it back to his home region.

Right now the race is a 2.1 category event of the UCI European Tour and enjoys international recognition, which is shown in the level of the riders and teams that take part. In addition, it takes place in a time of the year in which many squads are already having training camps in the region allowing many important riders to start their seasons in this race.

The Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana of 2017 will be the 68th edition of the race and will start on February 1st in Orihuela (Alicante) and finish on the 5th in the capital of the region, Valencia.

Twelve WorldTour teams will take part: Team Sky, Movistar, BMC Racing Team, Orica-Scott, Quick-Step Floors, Cannondale-Drapac, AG2R-La Mondiale, Astana, Dimension Data, Lotto NL-Jumbo, Katusha and FDJ. They will be joined by seven Professional Continental squads and six of the Continental category.

Sky rider Wout Poels will be back in Valencia to defend the title earned in 2016 and will be in the company of Peter Kennaugh, Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikel Landa and Vasil Kiryienka, among others.

The race will also feature reigning Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet who will be leading BMC Racing Team, as well as the World Time Trial champion Tony Martin who will head Katusha-Alpecin along with Ilnur Zakarin.

Other renowned riders to make their appearance are Thibaut Pinot and Tobias Ludvigsson of FDJ, Nacer Bouhanni of Cofidis; Nairo Quintana, Andrey Amador and Jonathan Castroviejo of Movistar; Magnus Cort Nielsen and the Yates brothers of Orica-Scott, Philippe Gilbert and Niki Terpstra of Quick-Step Floors and Steven Kruijswijk of Lotto NL-Jumbo.

The Volta will start with a Team Time Trial in Orihuela, to be followed the next day by a stage between Alicante and Denia with four mountain passes before finishing near the sea. The third day will be a hilly route through the province of Valencia.

The fourth stage will be the Queen Stage and will have six mountain passes in the province of Castellón. The race will finish with the fifth stage, which ends on a 7.2 kilometers long circuit through the streets of the city of Valencia.

This tour will be the first test of the 2017 season for many riders that will have an important role in the current WorldTour and an opportunity to see some of them representing their new teams for the first time.
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