Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 8:00 AM
On the other side of the world the wheels have been turning for a while, but the cycling season also kicks off in Europe on Saturday. Two competitions are scheduled in Spain: the Trofeo Calvià Femina for women, the Clássica Comunitat Valenciana 1969 for men. In the last (sprinters) race we will be looking for a successor to Arnaud De Lie. CyclingFlits looks ahead.
Last winners Clàssica Comunitat Valenciana 1969
2023: Arnaud De Lie
2022: Giovanni Lonardi
2021: Lorenzo Manzin
2006-2020: Not on the calendar
2005: Alessandro Petacchi
2004: Oscar Freire
2003: Alessandro Petacchi
2002: Sergey Ivanov
2001: Eric Zabel
2000: Erik Zabel
1999: Mario Cipollini
Rash Classic Valencian Community 1969 (2023)
1. Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Dstny)
2. Jenthe Biermans (Arkéa Samsic)
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies)
4. José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar)
5. Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën)
The route of the Clàssica Comunitat Valenciana 1969 has been significantly changed. Last year the riders rode from Valencia to La Nucía, now from La Nucía to Valencia. This does not simply involve driving the same road in the opposite direction. Nevertheless, many pros will know the roads in the opening kilometer, because they are in a known training area. From the departure they must immediately enter the Coll of Rates (14.1 km 2.9%) climb, albeit not from the traditional side, but via Tarbena.
After the descent of the ‘real’ Coll de Rates, a somewhat easier intermediate section follows. With almost seventy kilometers in their legs, the drivers arrive at the second climb of the day, the Alto de Barx (3.6 km at 6.5%). This is followed by three more climbs, but after 120 kilometers of racing most of the climbing is done. The riders still have eighty almost billiard-level kilometers ahead of them, mostly along the coast. That should be enough for released sprinters to return.
Unlike last year, the final is completely flat. Shortly after the red rag there are two more gentle bends, but the last six hundred meters are straight forward. We can expect a royal bunch sprint in Valencia after 200 kilometers.
View the profile and roadmap below:
Zaterdag 20 januari, Clàssica Comunitat Valenciana 1969: La Nucía – Valencia (200 km)
Finish: between 4:50 PM and 5:20 PM
The start list of the Clàssica Comunitat Valenciana 1969 is still far from complete. It is therefore difficult to say who the main favorites are. However, among the participants that are already known, there are some names that we should definitely mention – regardless of the competition. We are not referring to title holder Arnaud De Lie. The 22-year-old Belgian is absent: he only starts his season in a few weeks, with the Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia (February 10). Lotto Dstny will in the absence of the Bull of Lescheret perhaps hoping for an outlier of Jasper De Buyst.
In the party, in contrast to De Lie: Bryan Coquard. The Frenchman has good credentials for several reasons. He is usually there right away in early spring, will handle the climbing work in the opening phase relatively easily and has fast legs. The latter is necessary, because we will probably see a peloton sprint in Valencia.
Gleb Syritsa will undoubtedly suffer more in the difficult first part of the race. It is not inconceivable that the big Russian will have to pass uphill and not return afterwards. But if he does get around to sprinting in Valencia, he is a dangerous customer. The same goes for Luca Mozzato. The Italian from Arkéa-B&B Hotels has less to fear about the climbing kilometers and can also gain weight quickly. Last year he sprinted to fourth place in the Tour stage to Bordeaux. He also won two matches at .1 level in 2023.
The French sprinter Jason Tesson took three wins last season – his first season as a professional. Two of them were in the not so well occupied La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, but still. Winning is winning. So it will be Jon Abrastur think. The already 34-year-old Spaniard has no fewer than fifteen victories to his name, but his last victory dates back to 2021. High time to score again. Can he do that in the colors of his new team Euskaltel-Euskadi?
Aberasturi’s landgenoot Carlos Canal rode for Euskaltel-Euskadi last year, but made the move to the large Movistar this winter. The reward for an excellent season in which he collected a number of places of honor. 22-year-old Canal is not the fastest, but if a smaller group goes to the line, he will undoubtedly be among them. And in that case he can surprise.
If an entire peloton starts fighting for victory, Movistar can also play the card David Cimolai. Although his best sprint days seem to be behind him. Andrea Vendrame (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) will hope for the same scenario as Canal, his former teammate Marc Sarreau (Groupama-FDJ) does not turn its back on a pure bunch sprint. We’ll see what happens.
The complete field of participants for the Clàssica Comunitat Valenciana 1969 is not yet known. That is why we will supplement the favorites section at a later time.
Favorites according to WielerFlits
**** Bryan Coquard
*** Luca Mozzato, Marc Sarreau
** Gleb Syritsa, Jasper De Buyst, Jason Tesson
* Andrea Vendrame, Jon Aberasturi, Carlos Canal, Davide Cimolai
Weather and TV
It looks like it will be quite pleasant racing weather in Valencia and the surrounding area on Saturday. While temperatures in the Low Countries are only just above freezing point, it is sixteen degrees on the Spanish coast. That is a bit cooler than last week. Moreover, there may be a shower in the morning, but in the afternoon it remains dry and the sun shines regularly. The wind (3 Beaufort) comes from the west.
The Clàssica Comunitat Valenciana 1969 cannot be seen live on Dutch or Belgian television. Last year the race could be followed via a livestream Sportpublic TV.