Ciccone is the king of Vallter in front of Roglic and Evenepoel
March 21 st 2023 - 18:26 [GMT + 1]
Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) was the winner of the second stage of the Volta a Catalunya 2023 on Tuesday, March 21, the first of the three mountain finishes of the edition with a 165.4 kilometre route starting in Mataró and finishing in Vallter. The Italian climber took the victory ahead of Volta leader Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo Visma) and world champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step), who remain at the top of the general classification after their first duel in the opening stage.
The first of the three mountain finishes of this 102nd Volta Ciclista a Catalunya was not long in coming, and the second stage of the Catalan UCI WorldTour race saw all the big favourites in action in a major stage finish at the Vallter ski resort. A great spectacle at the 2,135 metres of the ski resort - the highest point of this Volta - after the explosive start the day before in Sant Feliu de Guíxols.
The cyclists Simon Carr, Simone Petilli, Xabier Mikel Azparren, Julen Amezqueta, Ewan Costiou, Christopher Juul-Jensen, Vadim Pronskiy and Francisco Galván (Kern Pharma Team), designated the most combative of the day, formed the breakaway of the day. They rode together over the Coll de Coubet (1st category) to arrive with a 2-minute lead over the peloton at the foot of the final climb of Vallter, where everything was still to be decided.
The climb to Vallter began with the strong pace of the Bahrain Victorious team, which eliminated illustrious names such as Egan Bernal (Ineos Greandiers) and Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost), demonstrating the lack of competitive rythm with which they have arrived at the Volta with respect to their main rivals. Colombian champion Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost) made the most convincing attack in the final kilometres, making more than half a minute on leader Primoz Roglic's group, but in the end, Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) made his team's work pay off with an attack that finally ignited the spirits of the big favourites and brought Chaves closer.
World champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) took responsibility in the first person to definitively catch Chaves and break the group of favourites, leaving at the front a group formed by himself, Primoz Roglic and Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) who was able to take the stage victory ahead of the two big favourites of this Volta, who continue to lead the general classification. Thanks to the bonuses, Roglic is leader of the Volta a Catalunya for the second day, with Evenepoel and Ciccone himself just six seconds behind.
The mountain stages in the Pyrenees are not over in this Volta a Catalunya 2023, which on Wednesday 22 March will experience a real high mountain challenge in its third stage. There will be 180.6 kilometres starting from Olot that will make the cyclists face the passes of Coll de Coubet (1st category) and Coll de la Creueta (special category) before the arrival at the ski resort of La Molina (1st category).