La Vuelta Femenina 2024

The first women's Grand Tour of the season gets underway in Spain

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Vuelta España Femenina
Vuelta España Femenina
  • Dates 28 Apr - 5 May
  • Race Length 880 kms
  • Race Category Elite Women

Updated: 5 May 2024

La Vuelta Femenina stage 8: Demi Vollering takes emphatic stage win and overall victory

Race leader Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime) underlined her climbing credentials as she took a dominant overall victory in the Vuelta Femenina with her second stage win of this year's race.

It was her second on a summit finish as she accelerated with just over 6km to go and left her rivals in the dust, powering away to the top at the Valdesquí ski resort with enough time to celebrate her victory.

With the battle for the minor placings still wide open the other contenders struggled to chase her down, several of them fading on the toughest climb of the queen stage. Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) slipped to third overall as Riejanne Markus (Visma-Lease a Bike) swapped podium places with her on the final day.

Read more: Vuelta Femenina stage 8: Demi Vollering wins overall title and final mountain stage

La Vuelta Femenina stage 7: Marianne Vos powers to second sprint victory

After two punishing days in the mountains the penultimate stage of the Vuelta was billed as one for the sprinters, but it wasn't going to be straightforward thanks to crosswinds and several uncategorised climbs in the stage's second half.

Ultimately though it was a routine victory for sprinter Marianne Vos (Visma-Lease a Bike), who added to her win on stage 3 by powering clear of her rivals on the uphill final 500m.

Kristen Faulkner (EF Education-Cannondale) added a respectable second place to her victory on stage 4 having led up the kick to the line, while Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) came in third.

With all the main favourites finishing in the bunch just behind Vos, Demi Vollering maintained control of the red leader's jersey, although overall second Longo Borghini shaved off four seconds of her deficit thanks to the bonus seconds on the line.

It leaves Vollering with a healthy lead going into the final stage but with the race by no means done and dusted.

Read more: Vuelta Femenina stage 7: Marianne Vos wins after perfect uphill sprint - report and full results

La Vuelta Femenina stage 6: Évita Muzic denies Demi Vollering atop summit finish

The second summit finish in as many days, this was billed as another big battle for the GC favourites and Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime) again got the better of most of her rivals to retain the maillot rojo.

But she was pipped to the line atop La Leguna Negra by Évita Muzic (FDJ-SUEZ), who produced a barnstorming ride to distance the race leader a few metres before the finish.

The two had gone clear from the remaining group of favourites in the last kilometre, allowing Vollering to extend her lead over Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek), who crossed the line fifth.

Riejanne Markus (Visma-Lease a Bike) finished fourth to hold onto her third place overall, while Yara Kastelijn (Fenix-Deceuninck) took third on the day after another brutal uphill stage.

Read more: Vuelta Femenina stage 6: Évita Muzic beats Demi Vollering to summit finish - full report and results

La Vuelta Femenina stage 5: Demi Vollering takes the lead with commanding win

Stage 5 brought the first summit finish of the 2024 Vuelta Femenina, and with it the first big GC battle. It was a closely-fought battle on the final climb, until the final kilometre when Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime) powered away from her challengers to take the win.

The stage victory marked Vollering's first win of 2024 after a long wait, and put her into the race lead, with every possibility of her holding onto the red jersey for the rest of the week to exact revenge on the race she was defeated in last year.

Third on the stage, Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) moved into second overall whilst her teammate Gaia Realini slipped out of the standings after a crash which would see her ultimately leave the race.

Riejanne Markus (Visma-Lease a Bike) moved up to third, whilst a strong ride from Sarah Gigante (AG Insurance-Soudal) saw her finish fifth but still out of the top 10 on GC after losing time on stage 4.

Read more: Vuelta Femenina stage 5: Demi Vollering takes commanding win on first summit finish – full report and results

La Vuelta Femenina stage 4: Kristen Faulkner wins crosswinds-affected stage as Vos moves into red

Stage 4 saw crosswinds and echelons come into play in Spain as SD Worx-Protime ripped things up early in the wind. A front group split off after just 28km, and was never seen again, despite chase efforts behind.

In the finale, Kristen Faulkner (EF Education-Cannondale) attacked from the 19-rider group to go solo on a short climb, and managed to hold off the group all the way to the line to take victory. By virtue of bonus points, Marianne Vos – third on the stage – took over the race lead from Blanka Vas.

Much of the intrigue on the stage came from the GC changes, with the likes of Demi Vollering, Kasia Niewiadoma and Juliette Labous all making it into the front group, whilst Gaia Realini, Liane Lippert and Sarah Gigante all missed out and lost almost two minutes ahead of the climbing starting on stage 5.

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La Vuelta Femenina stage 3: Marianne Vos sprints to victory from reduced group

Stage 3 of the Vuelta Femenina saw Marianne Vos (Visma-Lease a Bike) take her first victory of this year's race, outsprinting Charlotte Kool (dsm-firmenich PostNL) in a reduced sprint.

After catching day-long escapee Mireia Benito (AG Insurance-Soudal), things were winding towards a sprint in Teruel, but a crash near the finish saw the peloton split and only a small group contest the finish.

Vos capitalised from a lead-out from Riejanne Markus to surge to victory, leaving Kool behind, with the dsm-firmenich rider still waiting on her first win of 2024.

Read more: Vuelta Femenina stage 3: Marianne Vos wins reduced bunch sprint – report and full results

La Vuelta Femenina stage 2: Alison Jackson wins a chaotic sprint finish

Alison Jackson took an emotional win on stage two ahead of Blanka Vas (SD Worx-Protime) and Karlijn Swinkels (UAE Team ADQ) with the Canadian profiting from a stellar lead out by Kristen Faulkner in the chaotic run the line.

On paper, stage 2 was always likely to be a sprint finish with the only climb on the race coming well before the finish into Moncofa. However, the whole stage was deceptively hard with constant ups and downs building fatigue throughout the stage. One climb proved enough to make a difference in the day as pre-stage favourite Charlotte Kool was dropped which spurred on a drag race between the peloton and the chase lead by Kool’s dsm-Firmenich team.

While Kool came close to rejoining the front of the race, two crashes around the 3km to go derailed the possibility of a normal sprint as the only riders with a shot at the win were those already at the front. One of those riders was Alison Jackson who was able to slot onto Faulkner’s wheel with 500 meters to go. Faulkner kept the power on and gave Jackson the run to the line she needed to take the win. After the race, in classic Alison Jackson fashion, the Canadian nearly tackled her American teammate as she celebrated a win that was truly a full-team performance from the EF Education-Cannondale setup.

Read more: Vuelta Femenina stage 2: Alison Jackson wins sprint in crash-marred finale – report and full results

La Vuelta Femenina stage 1: Lidl-Trek win opening TTT despite late crash

The 2024 Vuelta Femenina got underway on Sunday 28 April with a 16km team time trial won by Lidl-Trek, who recovered from a late crash to hang onto victory by the tightest of margins.

Two of the team's riders slid out on a corner inside the final kilometre but the remaining riders scrambled themselves together and managed to stop the clock two hundredths of a second up on Visma-Lease a Bike.

SD Worx-Protime, the team of the overall favourite Demi Vollering, then came home one second down to take third place on the day.

With the top seven teams separated by just 10 seconds, the TTT did not open up any significant time differences between the general classification contenders.

As the first Lidl-Trek rider across the line, Gaia Realini pulled on the first red leader's jersey, which she'll wear on Monday's stage 2, which is expected to see a sprint finish.

Read more: Vuelta Femenina stage 1: Lidl-Trek triumph in opening team time trial despite late crash – report and full results

La Vuelta Femenina 2024 overview

Since its inaugural edition in 2015, the Vuelta Femenina has gone through many different iterations. It started out as a one-day race before transitioning into a two-, three-, four- and five-day stage race. Last year, the race was bumped up to seven days, moved from September to May and given a brand-new name – La Vuelta Femenina by What’s more, the development continues with an extra day added again in 2024.

With its move to May and added length, the race has established itself as a Grand Tour of the women’s calendar alongside the Giro d’Italia Women and Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, the Vuelta Femenina is starting to attract a star-studded start list each year. In the past, in its guise at the Madrid Challenge, this race was the preserve of sprinters and all-rounders such as Jolien D’Hoore and Lisa Brennauer, but it's now a bona fide GC race. Battling for the title this year will be the likes of Demi Vollering, Gaia Realini and Elisa Longo Borghini – all of whom have stood on the podium here in the past.

Vollering will lead her SD Worx-Protime team and hopes to go one better than her runner-up spot last year, whilst Longo Borghini will return to the race after two years and form a troublesome duo alongside Lidl-Trek teammate Realini. The young Italian was last year’s break-out performer and might see the nasty climbs of Spain as her best chance at winning her first Grand Tour.

Read the latest from the Vuelta Femenina

La Vuelta Femenina 2024 preview

You can read our full race preview now for a comprehensive look at the route and contenders in this year's Vuelta Femenina.

Read now: La Vuelta Femenina 2024 – essential race preview

If you head to our individual stage pages, you'll also find stage-by-stage preview of each of the race's eight stages, including maps and profiles.

La Vuelta Femenina 2024 key information

When is the Vuelta Femenina 2024? The race will begin on 28 April and conclude eight days later on 5 May.

Where does the Vuelta Femenina take place? The race will begin in Valencia and take in eight stages between there and the finish in Madrid. Along the way, the riders will take in one team time trial and seven tough road stages.

Who won the Vuelta Femenina in 2023? Annemiek van Vleuten won her third and final title before retirement at last year’s race, batting away intense competition from Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime) and Gaia Realini (Lidl-Trek).

When did the Vuelta Femenina? The Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta was raced for the first time in 2015 and existed as a one-day race, akin to La Course by the Tour de France at the time.

Who won the first Vuelta Femenina? The first edition of the Ceratizit Challenge took place in 2015 and was won by the American Shelley Olds

Who has the most wins at the Vuelta Femenina? Annemiek van Vleuten has the most wins across the Ceratizit Challenge and what is now the Vuelta Femenina, taking three titles between 2021 and 2023.

La Vuelta Femenina 2024 route

Beginning with a team time trial in Valencia on the opening day, the Vuelta Femenina will conclude eight stages later with a summit finish in Valdesquí, where a new champion will be crowned after three successive years of Annemiek van Vleuten victories.

For the first time in race history, the Vuelta will take in eight stages and visit the Pyrenees, with three summit finishes along the way. Aside from the mountains that are set to define the race, there will also be one opportunity for the sprinters and of course, a short team time trial to open proceedings on stage 1.

The three climbs may be new to the Vuelta Femenina, but all have coloured the men’s Vuelta a España in the past, with the women’s peloton tasked by the summits of Rapitán Fort in Jaca, La Laguna Negra in Vinuesa and the climb to Valdesquí on the final day.

La Vuelta Femenina 2024 contenders

Much of the pre-race talk will naturally surround the showdown between SD Worx-Protime and Lidl-Trek. Before the start of this season, Demi Vollering of the former had a strong reputation as the best Grand Tour rider in the world and was almost unstoppable when at her best. However, the Dutch national champion has faced her challenges so far in 2024 and whilst she remains one of the best riders in the world – that is beyond doubt – the 27-year-old is yet to pick up her first victory.

As such, there is room for optimism for the other teams challenging SD Worx-Protime in Spain, namely Lidl-Trek, who count Elisa Longo Borghini and Gaia Realini among their number. Realini was third place here in 2023, with Longo Borghini finishing runner-up in 2020 and 2022. Longo Borghini has made her ambitions for a strong GC finish clear and with Realini’s strong performance at last year’s race, Lidl-Trek pack a serious punch.

Of course, a whole host of Women’s WorldTeams and their leaders will hope to upset the applecart, not least Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon-SRAM), Évita Muzic (FDJ-SUEZ) and AG Insurance-Soudal’s two-up attack of Sarah Gigante and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio.

Teams of La Vuelta Femenina 2024

The Vuelta Femenina is a WorldTour race, but only 13 of the 15 Women's WorldTour teams will be in attendance, with Ceratizit-WNT and Uno-X Mobility skipping the race. Joining them will be eight Continental teams.

UCI Women's WorldTour

  • AG Insurance-Soudal
  • Canyon-SRAM
  • dsm-firmenich PostNL
  • Fenix-Deceuninck
  • Human Powered Health
  • Lidl-Trek
  • Liv AlUla Jayco
  • Movistar
  • Roland
  • SD Worx-Protime
  • UAE Team ADQ
  • Visma-Lease a Bike

UCI Continental

  • Bepink-Bongioanni
  • Coop-Repsol
  • EF Education-Cannondale
  • Eneicat-CMTeam
  • Laboral Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi
  • Lotto Dstny Ladies
  • VolkerWessels Women’s Pro Cycling Team
  • Winspace

La Vuelta Femenina 2024 history

La Vuelta Femenina, or as it used to be known, the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, was formerly a one-day race held in tandem with the final stage of the men’s Vuelta a España and on the same, city-centre circuit around Madrid. Originally the race was a playground for the sprinters, but following its transition into a stage race and its inclusion of an individual time trial and several hilly stages, it quickly became the preserve of the GC specialists.

The first edition of the Ceratizit Challenge took place in 2015 and was won by the American Shelley Olds. Jolien D’Hoore won the next two editions, both times in bunch sprints on the same, fast-paced circuit around Madrid. Ellen van Dijk took the crown in 2018, when the race was held over two days and featured a decisive race against the clock for the first time in its short history.

Two riders have dominated the race since 2018 – Lisa Brennauer and Annemiek van Vleuten. Both won back-to-back races between 2018 and 2022, with Brennauer winning the 2019 and 2020 editions, and Van Vleuten the 2021 and 2022 editions. During this four-year period, the race increased by a day each time - from two days in 2018 to five days in 2022. After the success of the 2022 race, organisers Unipublic decided to finally make it a week-long event and Van Vleuten was able to claim her third successive title.

A seven-day format wasn’t the only new thing proposed for the 2023 edition, Unipublic also shifted the race from its usual spot in mid-September to early May and rebranded its image – from a season-ending showcase of sorts, to a prestigious stage race on par with the Giro d’Italia Donne and Tour de France Femmes. The race also featured proper summit finishes for the first time in its history, creating a spectacle that saw Van Vleuten come out on top at a Grand Tour for the final time in her glittering career.

The Dutchwoman was pushed hard by Demi Vollering and the SD Worx looked to have the better of Van Vleuten from time to time, but ever the opportunist, the two-time defending champion attacked Vollering during a nature break and ultimately eeked out enough time to see her to the title. As for Gaia Realini, who finished third, the race saw the Italian make a number of break-out performances that culminated with a win on the Queen stage.

La Vuelta Femenina past winners

2023 Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar

2022 Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar

2021 Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar

2020 Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT

2019 Lisa Brennauer (Ger) WNT-Rotor

2018 Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Team Ssunweb

2017 Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle High5

2016 Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle High5

2015 Shelley Olds (USA) Ale Cippolini

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