Sergio Higuita is crowned champion of the Volta and Bagioli wins in Barcelona
March 27 th 2022 - 16:57
(Barcelona, 27-03-2022) - Sergio Higuita (BORA Hansgrohe) has sentenced the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2022 in a final stage with start and finish in Barcelona and end in the circuit of Montjuïc, where Andrea Bagioli (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) has won. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) and Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) completed the final podium of the 101st edition.
The last stage of the Volta a Catalunya, with start and finish in Barcelona, started very nervously and with many attacks in the first kilometres. The big group broke up on the way to Corbera de Llobregat and some thirty riders were ahead, with Sergio Higuita (BORA Hansgrohe), Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) or Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates), but without the Colombian Nairo Quintana (Team Arkéa Samsic) or the Dutchman Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious), who abandoned the race when he was sixth in the general classification.
The two groups were 20 seconds apart, but the work of Team Arkéa Samsic brought them back together. Ahead, Steven Kruijswijk looked for a solo breakaway, but after ten kilometres at the front he was absorbed by the peloton. It was then, 95 kilometres from the finish, that the breakaway of the day, made up of 12 riders, was formed: Antwan Tolhoek and Giulio Ciccone (Trek Segafredo), Michael Storer, Quentin Pacher and Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Jesús Herrada (Cofidis), Henri Vandenabeele (Team DSM), Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo Visma), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team), Louis Meintjes (Intermarché Wanty Gobert Matériaux) and Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates).
The pace of the peloton meant that the gap did not exceed one and a half minutes at any point in the stage and the 12 escapees reached the Montjuïc circuit with only 50 seconds of margin. After the first pass over the Alt del Castell de Montjuïc (2nd category), Steven Kruijswijk and Quentin Pacher attacked and formed a duo at the head of the race. The first attacks among the best riders in the general classification came after the third ascent of the Castell. Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) tried on the descent towards the finish, but Sergio Higuita (BORA Hansgrohe) neutralised the attack.
Carlos Rodríguez (INEOS Grenadiers) set an intense pace in the group of favourites and his team-mate Richard Carapaz, who was only 16 seconds off the lead, tried it on the fifth ascent of the pass. The first to follow him was Norwegian Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), who counterattacked and formed a group with the Ecuadorian, leader Sergio Higuita and young Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates). Already on the descent, the groups have united and the attacks have followed one after another in front.
Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) opened a small margin at the front, but a second attack by Johannessen neutralised him and formed a group with Sergio Higuita, Juan Ayuso, Joao Almeida and Ben O'Connor. In the final kilometres, first Richard Carapaz and then the rest of the favourites linked up with the escapees and none of the attacks were able to avoid the sprint in a reduced group of 18 riders. At the finish line at Avinguda Rius i Taulet, Italian Andrea Bagioli (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) was the fastest and took the victory of the seventh and last stage of the Volta a Catalunya.
The overall standings remained unchanged apart from the abandonment of Wout Poels and Barcelona crowned Sergio Higuita as the winner of the 101st edition of the Volta. Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz and Portuguese Joao Almeida joined him on the final podium. Sergio Higuita was also crowned winner of the mountain classification and the youth classification. Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange Jayco), winner of the second stage in Perpinyà, won the regularity classification and Kiko Galván (Team Kern Pharma) was the best Catalan.