CYCLING Preview: Women’s Tour goes Basque for 32nd Emakumeen Bira

Australia cycling star Amanda Spratt

One of the early women’s cycling stage races comes this week with the 32nd edition of the Emakumeen Bira, with four stages rolling through the Basque country of Spain:

● 22 May: Stage 1 (101.9 km): Iurreta to Iurreta (flat)
● 23 May: Stage 2 (110.8 km): Aduna to Amasa (hilly)
● 24 May: Stage 3 (97.6 km): Murgia to Santa Teodosia (hilly)
● 25 May: Stage 4 (155.8 km): Oñati › Oñati (hilly)

Defending champ Amanda Spratt (AUS) is back, along with three other previous medal winners:

● Amanda Spratt (AUS) ~ Defending Champion
● Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) ~ Second in 2010-17-18
● Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA) ~ Second in 2013
● Tatiana Guderzo (ITA) ~ Second in 2008

Other contenders will certainly include Jolien D’Hoore (BEL), Amy Pieters (NED) and Amalie Dideriksen (DEN), all riding for the Boels-Dolmans Team.

There have been 11 races completed on the Women’s World Tour for 2019 and Dutch riders have won eight, including four in a row. Van Vleuten is the current World Tour leader, and won Strade Bianche and Liege-Bastogne-Liege and has a long history in this race. Can Spratt repeat her 2018 win? She does have a World Tour silver this season from the Trofeo Alfredo Binda race back in March, but there hasn’t been a repeat winner in the Emakumeen Bira this century!

Look for results here.