by Chris Chaplow
8 April - 13 April 2019
(Confirmed by the organisers)
The Andalucía Bike Race is a cross-country mountain bike race which takes place in late February or early March. The race lasts five or six days and is usually held in and around the Andalucian cities of Cordoba and Jaen; the first edition took place in 2011. Each stage takes betwen one and a half and three and a half hours to complete.
The first six editions of the competition were carried out in pairs, in which both members rode together. For the sixth edition in 2017, a more mainstream format of individual winners and larger teams is being introduced. The event was created and largely funded by the regional government and Cordoba and Jaen town halls (up to 2016), making it a highly attractive race for international amateur riders to take part. In 2017, 800 riders of 27 (2016 was 33) nationalities competed in the race.
The Andalucía Bike Race has been sponsored by Japanese bike manufacturer Shimano since the 2016 edition and, althought not on the world championship circuit, attains S1 race status and qualifying points from the International Cycling Union (UCI). Total prize money is about 20,000 €.
The calibre of entrants is shown by the fact that 15 of the olympians competing in the cross-country mountain biking event at Rio had competed in the Andalucia Bike Race, including the entire Spanish Olympic Mountain-biking Team.
Andalucía Bike Race 2019
The Andalucía Bike Race 2019 (9th edition) is 380km in total divided into six stages with a departure from Linares in Jaén province again and a final in Córdoba city. It takes place a month later than usual between Monday 8th April and Saturday 13th April March. All the races have a circular route and start and finish in the same town, but a different town each day.
The first flash stage on Monday 8th, the start will be an individual time trail. 38 km time trail around the mining area of Linares.
The second stage on Tuesday 9th of 75 km the riders leave Linares together heading to the Rumblar reservoir and the village of Baños de la Encina.
The third stage on Wed 10th of 70 km with a start and finish from Andújar including the climb to the top of the Virgen de la Cabeza.
The shorter fourth stage on Thursday 11th of 54 km with a start and finish is Villafrance de Cordoba.
The longer fifth stage on Friday 12th of 87 km around the countryside to the north and west of Córdoba city , including the climb of Los Mirabuenos.
The sixth and final stage on Saturday 13th of 57 km is closer to the centre of Cordoba next to the canal del Guadalmellato and climb the Canchuelapara and pass through Trasierra, Las Jaras and Los Morales finishing at Santo Domingo.
The race continues in individual format. Entrance costing 450€ closed in February. All 800 places were subscribed. Rules in English the prize money for the stage winners on the UCI Elite men is 200€ and for the final is 1.000€.
Andalucía Bike Race 2018
The Andalucía Bike Race 2018 (8th edition) will be 412km in total divided into six stages with a departure from Linares in Jaén province and a final in Córdoba city. It takes place between Sunday 25th February and Friday 2nd March.
The first stage will be a 43km time trail around the mining area of Linares.
The second stage of 70km will leave Linares for Baños de la Encina, following the Rumblar reservoir.
The third stage of 63km with a start and finish from Andújar including the climb to the top of the Virgen de la Cabeza.
The fourth stage, the longest at 93km, on 'Andalucia Day' bank holiday (Wednesday) in the Sierra de Córdoba: climbing the Reventón, Trasierra, and descending by Monte Cobre, climbing Santa María de Trasierra and decending into Cordoba.
The fifth stage of 71km around Villaviciosa de Córdoba, including the climb of Los Mirabuenos.
The sixth and final stage of 70km is in the centre of Cordoba next to the canal del Guadalmellato and climb the Canchuelapara and pass through Trasierra, Las Jaras and Los Morales finishing at Santo Domingo.
For second time this race will be in individual format. Entrance costing 450€ is open until 18th January 2018 or until all 800 places are subscribed. Rules in English
Andalucia Bike Race 2017
Andalucia Bike Race 2017 took place from 26 February to 3 March 2017, with six stages. In 2017 the two-person team event had been discarded as the race evolves into a more mainstream event. The winner was Tiago Ferreira of Portugal with a total time of 15hr 29min 57sec of the main prize for the individual competitors. There was a prize for the first and second combined time in a race team.
The race will began with a time trial in Villafranca de Córdoba, while the second and third stages took place in Córdoba. The third stage, on Tuesday 28th of February, attracted large numbers of spectators, since it coincided with the Day of Andalusia holiday and the weather was beautiful. The fourth stage, transition day, was hosted in Andújar, and the fifth and sixth stage started and finished in Linares.
The first five editions of the Andalucía Bike Race had teams of two split into four categories: Elite Men (two men aged over 19 years), Elite Women (two women aged over 19 years), Mixed (man and woman aged over 19 years) and Masters (two men aged 30 years or older).
Andalucia Bike Race 2016
This took place from 21 - 26 February 2016, with six stages through the provinces of Córdoba and Jaén: Stage 1 was around Martos, Stage 2 around Jaen, Stage 3 around Andujar, and the last three stages were around Cordoba. Each stage was between 50 - 90 km and with a climb of between 1,000 - 2,000 metres. The winners of the Men's Elite race were Portuguese rider Tiago Ferreira and Periklis Ilias of Greece.
Andalucia Bike Race 2015
This was held from 22 - 27 February 2015, with six stages. It was won by the Austrian Alban Lakata and Czech Kristian Hynec.
Andalucia Bike Race 2014
The dates were 22 - 28 February 2014, with six stages. Stages 1 and 2 were around Jaen city, Stage 3 around Andujar, and Stages 4, 5, and 6 were in the rolling hills around Córdoba city, starting and finishing at the university campus outside the city. More information from the official race website www.andaluciabikerace.com Jochen Käss and Markus Kaufmann of @centurionvaude won the Elite Men's race.
Andalucia Bike Race 2013
From 24 February to 1 March 2013 - the Men's Elite race winning team was Topeak Ergon, comprising of former world champion Alban Lakata from Austria and his German teammate Robert Mennen, with a total time of 14 hours, 6 minutes and 47 seconds.
Andalucia Bike Race 2011
From 27 February to 5 March. It was a soft launch proof of concept event with 48 teams taking part.
If you are interested in taking part in the next years event. Registrations usually open in October and close in January. Registration cost is about 400€ Registration is made on the official website. You will need a competition cycling licence (annual or temporary) approved by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and issued by a national cycling federation. You must also have a written authorisation from your national cycling federation certifying that their insurance is valid in Spain. An alternative option is to simply buy a temporary license from the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) for the six days of competition for about 60 €. If you are taking part please contact us (bottom right of this page) so that we can highlight your progress on Twitter.
ECONOMIC SPIN LOCALLY
The race has been a huge success, which is good news for the tourism industry in Cordoba and Jaen provinces; indeed, this was part of the reason for creating it off-season. However race organisers' claims of 17,000 overnight hotel stays for the week-long event include for an unlikely average of three supporters per rider. Equally the economic impact headline claim "The 2016 Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano had an economic impact of 5 million euros in Andalucía" is explained and based on 2,425 personnel (riders, supporters, sponsors and media) spending on average 1,061€ each. To this is added a theoretical 47% indirect expenses and also media coverage valued at 1m €, of which only a percentage would be potential economic impact by readers inspired to visit the region.