The Volta a Catalunya kicks off in Sant Feliu de Guíxols for an edition of great attractions

March 21 st 2022 - 09:00

 (Sant Feliu de Guíxols, 21-03-2022).- The 101st edition of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya starts this Monday 21 March in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, one more year with the participation of great stars of the cycling peloton who will fight in the Catalan roads in seven varied stages until the end next Sunday 27 March in Barcelona. The Catalan race presents new attractions in the route, with historical returns and new venues.

After its historic podium last year, INEOS Grenadiers will once again be a team of reference, led by Richie Porte, who already knows what it's like to win a Volta a Catalunya and who climbed the podium last year, accompanied by the reigning Olympic champion Richard Carapaz, among others.

Another big attraction will be the participation of three-time Volta winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) in the year of his retirement. Also present will be another winner of the Catalan race Nairo Quintana (Team Arkéa Samsic), a prominent name in a long list of favourites with names such as Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), recent protagonists of the grand tours such as Jack Haig (Bahrain-Merida), Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates), Ben O'Connor (Ag2r La Mondiale), Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ), Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech), a Giro d'Italia winner like Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) and stage chasers like Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) or Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange-Jayco).

The Volta a Catalunya 2022 will start with a 172.2 kilometre stage starting and finishing in Sant Feliu de Guíxols with a leg-breaking route through the Gavarres massif that promises excitement from the first day, maintaining the trend of recent years. Its final stretch will recover the emotions of the stage held in 2019, in which Michael Matthews was the winner ahead of Alejandro Valverde.

The second stage will have many novelties: L'Escala will debut as the venue for a stage of the Volta being the start of a day of 202.4 kilometres that will take the cyclists to Perpinyà, where the Catalan race had not stopped for 67 years. A historic event that will continue in the third stage, in which the capital of Rosselló will be the start and the prelude to the high mountain stages.

La Molina, a modern classic of the Volta, will be the judge of this third day, with three first category mountain passes in its 161.1 kilometres that will begin to decide the general classification. The following day, the high mountains will also be the main protagonist of the fourth stage, with 166.7 kilometres and another three 1st category mountain passes between La Seu d'Urgell and the ski resort of Boí Taüll, which returns to the route of the Volta a Catalunya 20 years after its last presence.

The longest stage of the race will be the fifth, which will link La Pobla de Segur with Vilanova i la Geltrú on a 206.3-kilometre route that will be one of the clearest opportunities for the sprinters. The sixth stage will have a true mid-mountain profile on a route that will show the cycling potential of the Costa Daurada. There will be 167.6 kilometres, starting in Salou and finishing in Cambrils on a route with three mountain passes that will take in the interior of the Sierra del Montsant and the Prades Mountains.

Finally, as is now tradition, the Volta will close with a final stage starting and finishing in Barcelona. The capital of Catalonia will once again be the final stage with an explosive 138.6-kilometre route where anything can happen, both in the fight for victory and in the final general classification, especially with the six final climbs at the iconic Castell de Montjuic.

A first class spectacle on the Catalan roads in a race fully consolidated in the UCI World Tour, which will also have a notable Catalan participation. Seven Catalan cyclists, with prominent names such as Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) and Roger Adrià (Kern Pharma Team), lead a list of Catalan participants that has not been seen in the Volta for more than 15 years.

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