We fly to Argentina, to begin 2023

Vuelta a San Juan (2.PRO)
22-29 January

Stage 1: San Juan – San Juan (147.8 km)
Stage 2: Villa san Agustin – San José de Jáchal (206.9 km)
Stage 3: Autodromo San Juan Villicum – Autodromo San Juan Villicum (175.5 km)
Stage 4: Autodromo San Juan Villicum – Barreal racetrack (205 km)
Stage 5: Plaza de Chimbas – Alto del Colorado (175.5 km)
Stage 6: Velódromo Vicente A. Chancay – Velódromo Vicente A. Chancay (144.5 km)
Stage 7: San Juan – San Juan (112.7 km)

First times, all first times, have a unique and special flavor. They taste of things never tried, often only dreamed of when the desire to be there is stronger than anything. And here it is, this first time of ours: we leave Europe and cross the Ocean, we fly to Argentina for the Vuelta a San Juan for the first race of the 2023 season: the months of training, the weeks of retreat in the Oliva Nova headquarters, the hours spent preparing finally give way to the things we love most. The group, the bib numbers on the back, the meeting before the start, the sound of the wheels, the desire to make a mark.

It’s racing, finally. And the date is a big one. The heat of the Argentine summer will welcome the circus of world cycling and put a strain on a group where there will be no shortage of big names and where everyone will be hungry for victory. The Vuelta a San Juan, which returns after a two-year stop due to Covid, is an important race and along with the Tour Down Under is the race that opens the season: the World Tour teams have marked this race in red on the calendar and will arrive fierce starting with world champion Evenepoel’s Soudal Quick Step, the last to win in Argentina in 2020 before the world shut down due to the pandemic.

Seven stages with a rest day between the fourth and fifth stages. The first day will be played in the San Juan circuit, 147 km flat with the finish in the Cantoni stadium that will be prey to the sprinters. The next day features the longest stage, with elevation difficulties in the Parqué Ischigualasto and the uphill finish. More terrain for the sprinters in the third stage while the fourth stage, Villicum-Barreal, puts on the table the climb of Alto de la Virgen de Andacollo with the summit at 2219 meters. More climbing in stage five with the finish in Alto del Colorado with the finish at 2624 meters above sea level and a final climb of 18 kilometers. These will be the stages where the overall standings will be decided, as the last two days include a return to San Juan with the sprinters trying to control the race.

EOLO KOMETA will fly to Argentina carrying in its suitcase the excitement for this overseas baptism and, together, the desire to start strong right away in a season that will have to be attacked immediately. A strong team, with Lonardi for the sprints, Fetter and Davide Bais to play for the uphill finishes, Bevilacqua will be the captain in the race while Sevilla and Raccani will be the designated men for the breakaways from afar. 

Biagio Conte, Sport Director: “For us, but also for all the other teams, it will be a very important test because the condition of the opponents is unknown and everyone wants to test themselves in a real race after the months spent training. We have been working well, we want to have our say and make a good impression but also to try to hit some results: the competition is important, we will face Evenepoel who will want to confirm the success of 2020 but also riders like Bennet, Gaviria and Sagan who will go hunting for stages. The first three days are not complicated altimetrically, and the big difficulty will be dealing with the heat that we are obviously not used to. The fourth and fifth stages will be the decisive ones because in addition to the heat and the climbs there will be the altitude to create other difficulties. We are ready and, of course, looking forward to the start.”

Simone Bevilacqua: “We are ready. This will be a very important season for me in which I will have to try to find myself and find results, and I am eager to start: in Argentina we will find warmth and I like this, these days spent with all my teammates have made me understand that the group is there and there is also the desire to start great.”

In this video, we analyse with Diego Pablo Sevilla the route of the Argentinean race.