45º Ronda Ciclista al Maestrat
Benicarló-Benicarló (172,4 km)
With an interesting mileage for the category, and a complicated route marked by the climb, a long ascent, to La Serratella in the middle of the race, although it is not the only climb on the route, the Ronda Ciclista al Maestrat returns to the roads. The U23 structure of the Foundation makes its debut in a race that returns to the competitive scene after an absence from the calendar for four years. It was in 2017 when the Ronda held its last edition. A quick return to the roads of Castellón after the recent and productive participation in the Volta a Castelló.
The U23 structure of the Contador Foundation, again directed by the Cantabrian Guillermo Gutiérrez, will participate with the same team that one day before takes part in the Memorial Momparler. A weekend of races with the Copa de España Elite and U23 and a race organised by the Unió Ciclista Benicarló, which is a classic in the calendar of the Comunitat Valenciana.
The Ronda Ciclista al Maestrat, whose adventures and evolutions are captured in a book written by Gregorio Segarra Calvet, was not long ago a stage race and even with a view to the 1992 Barcelona Games it was attended by the Spanish national team led by Ginés García, who was finalising his preparations for the Olympic Games at the time.
Since 1976, the Ronda Ciclista al Maestrazgo has been faithful to its appointment with the roads, except for one non-appearance in 1986 due to economic reasons. As a general rule, it was a three-stage race which could be enjoyed by most of the towns in the northern part of the province. The crisis and the lack of economic support meant that the Unión Ciclista Benicarló, the organising club, had to reduce it to a two-stage competition… and in recent years it has only been held on one day.