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Trio of Faulkner, Spratt & Santesteban headline Team BikeExchange-Jayco at the four-day Vuelta Burgos Feminas – Team BikeExchange Jayco

After winning a stage in 2021, Team BikeExchange-Jayco return to the second edition of the women’s WorldTour stage race Vuelta Burgos Feminas, hungry for that top-step of the podium, after two weeks of consistent podium finishes in northern Spain.

Last year’s 10th place overall finisher Amanda Spratt will lead a strong six-rider squad alongside in-form Kristen Faulkner, fresh from her third place finish overall at Itzulia. Giving the team a third option in the climbs will be Ane Santesteban, who will return to the fold, having recovered from illness which saw her pull out of Itzulia on day two.

Also continuing their block of racing in Spain will be crucial support riders in New Zealander Georgia Williams and Slovenian rider Urska Zigart, plus Dutch domestique Nina Kessler who comes in fresh to join the squad and brings a touch of speed.

Like last year’s edition of Vuelta Burgos, the race concludes with a 10km ascent to Lagunas de Niela which should sort out the general classification standings, with the first two stages over undulating terrain, before a category three climb to finish with on the penultimate stage.

However, before this second WorldTour race of the season gets underway in Burgos, the riders will also have another opportunity to fight for victory with the one-day preluding race, Durango-Durango, on the 17th May.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-up:
Kristen Faulkner (USA) 
Nina Kessler (NED)
Ane Santesteban (ESP) *Burgos only
Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Georgia Williams (NZL)
Urska Zigart (SLO)

Amanda Spratt
“I’m feeling happy and excited to continue this block of Spanish races with Durango and then Burgos. I’ve raced Durango 12 times so let’s say I am familiar with it!

The heat has been a shock to the system lately but after a few races already in it, I hope my body responds well in this next block. Durango usually comes down to the final hard and steep climb so I hope to have good legs and be there. I am always aiming for improvements each race. 

Burgos will be exciting and I think with the addition of Ane again after illness, we will have a very strong team. It looks like a couple of faster stages but then a harder uphill one and the same long final climb we raced up last year to finish the tour.

The stages offer a bit of everything, so I think we can aim to use our numbers. We saw how strong the team was at Itzulia and also how impressive Kristen was in her first race back after a month off in March. We can start Burgos with big motivation and big goals.“

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas (Sport Director)
“We have different options for Burgos, I think Spratty is only going to get stronger coming out of Itzulia, it was her first race after a small break following the Ardennes and so as we can see she is continuously progressing with each race. She is a strong rider and like in Vuelta Burgos, we are looking for a top result in Durango.

I think Burgos is going to be played out over two stages pretty much, the final two that have climbs to finish with. We also have Ane Santesteban coming back to join us so that gives another strong card to play, alongside Kristen Faulkner of course, who has shown in these first Spanish one-day races and her podium finish in Itzulia that she has really good legs at the moment.”

2022 Durango-Durango Race Details:
Tuesday, 17th May: Durango – Durango, 113km 
2022 Vuelta Burgos Feminas Race Details:
Thursday, 19th May: Stage 1, Pedrosa del Principe to Aranda de Duero, 121.9km
Friday, 20th May: Stage 2, Sasamon to Aguilar de Campoo, 129km
Saturday, 21st May: Stage 3, Medina de Pomar to Comlejo Karstico Ojo Guarena, 113km 
Sunday, 22nd May: Stage 4, Covarrubias to Lagunas de Niela 125.1km 

Photo: Getty Images

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Spratt & Santesteban lead Team BikeExchange-Jayco at the first Women’s WorldTour stage race of the season – Itzulia  – Team BikeExchange Jayco

Team BikeExchange-Jayco women are ready to switch their attention to the stage racing phase of the season, kicking off with the three-day WorldTour race Itzulia on Friday.
 
After a busy few days with two second places finishes, Ane Santesteban is back for more and looking for a strong result in her ‘home’ race, and will line-up with a mixed squad ready to tackle the three-day event.
 
Alongside the 31-year-old will be third place finisher at the Navarra Women’s Classic Kristen Faulkner and Australian climber Amanda Spratt who returns the fold after strong performances at the Ardennes.
 
Giving the team further options, after hardwork in the last three races in northern Spain, will be Slovenian Urska Zigart, New Zealander Georgia Williams and Singapore’s Chelsie Tan

Racing begins tomorrow with a fairly short 106km stage and the peloton ready to tackle more than 1,900m of altitude gain each day.
 
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-up at Itzulia:
Kristen Faulkner (USA) 
Ane Santesteban (ESP)
Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Chelsie Tan (SNG)
Georgia Williams (NZL)
Urska Zigart (SLO)

Amanda Spratt 
“I had a nice break after Liege. It was a very steep and fast road back to fitness and race intensity after my surgery, so I felt like I definitely needed the break to let all the work soak in and now I’m ready to go again!
 
I love racing in Spain and even more so in the Basque Country. It’s where I took my first WorldTour victory in 2018 so I have great memories. The racing here is always hard with many climbs, descents and not much flat in between. Stage three in particular, which is a carbon copy of the San Sebastián Classic, I see it as a really hard stage with the steep climb right before the finish. 
 
These are home roads for Ane and I know she is so motivated for these races which she has been targeting. I’m looking forward to supporting her and racing well as a team. It’s been great following the team from afar in these first races in Spain. You can see they are racing really well together, and I feel like a win is coming soon.”
 
Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas (Sport Director)
“We’ve seen in these past three races here in Spain that the riders are in great shape, they’ve been controlling the racing and working really well together, and we’ve had multiple podium finishes and it feels like we are so close to getting a win.
 
This will be the first stage race for the riders, and it will be a hard races with really strong competition and everybody knows the roads in this area are really hard and steep, so it will be a tough race but we are ready. Spratty comes in to join the team for Itzulia after her strong ride in Liege, so we have some really good options and everybody is excited to get this stage race underway.”

2022 Itzulia Race Details:
Friday, 13th May: Stage 1, Vitoria-Gasteiz to Bastida, 106km – 1,905m
Saturday, 14th May: Stage 2, Ermua to Mallabia, 118km – 2,129km
Sunday, 15th May: Stage 3, San Sebastian to San Sebastian, 140km 2,131m
 
 Photo: Getty Images

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com