The 2024 Vuelta Femenina kicks off with the most interesting stages on April 28th with the Team Time Trial (TTT). This discipline sees teams battling against the clock in a show of collective endurance and hopefully with seamless coordination. The team time trial is a unique event that hinges on unity as much as it does on individual strength.

Each team’s time will be recorded when the fourth rider crosses the finish line, making every member’s performance crucial to the outcome. Riders who are dropped by their team will receive the time they do eventually cross the line. The first rider across the line on the fastest team will wear the leader’s red jersey for Stage 2.

The Team Time Trial Route

In the 2024 Vuelta Femenina, teams will embark on a flat, brisk 16-kilometre journey through Valencia, where strategic prowess is paramount. The course, set for a mid-afternoon start, is defined by its linear elevations and a long stretch conducive to high speeds. Teams will be challenged to maintain tight, aerodynamic formations as they tackle a route with minimal altitude variance, the highest point standing a mere 13 metres above sea level. The midpoint at 8.2 kilometres not only serves as a time check but a critical juncture for teams to assess their performance and make any necessary tactical adjustments for the second half of the race, which concludes on a consistently level terrain ideal for a full-throttle finish.

Analysing the Favourites

Lidl-Trek, well-versed in the nuances of time trialling, are expected to bring their best to the fore, capitalising on their collective experience in such events. The likes of Ellen van Dijk will power them along. SD Worx will be another team to watch, having demonstrated last year that they are within striking distance of victory. With every team member’s performance being critical, the narrow margins from the previous year suggest another closely fought contest this time around.

The competitiveness of Visma | Lease a Bike and FDJ-Suez can’t be overlooked, both teams harbouring riders capable of delivering top-tier performances against the clock. Visma | Lease a Bike took the first leader’s red jersey last season as they won the opening TTT. Anna Henderson had the honour of wearing red on Stage 2 in 2023.

Despite the challenges faced by Canyon-SRAM, including starting with one rider less and suffering health issues within the squad, their previous year’s near-miss by a mere 1-second shows they have the mettle to challenge the best when they are fully fit.

Vuelta Femenina Team Time Trial Running Order

The starting order for the 2024 Vuelta Femenina TTT will unfold as follows, with intervals between each team’s departure:

Teams will depart at 3-minute intervals, keeping fans on the edge of their seats as each squad attempts to clock the fastest time over the course.

Main photo credit: Cor Vos