Roglic hits first ahead of Evenepoel in Sant Feliu de Guíxols
March 20 th 2023 - 20:27 [GMT + 1]
The great duel that anticipated the Volta a Catalunya 2023 has lived its first chapter since the first stage, which has been disputed this Monday, March 20 on a 164.5 kilometres route with start and finish in Sant Feliu de Guíxols. The Slovenian Primoz Roglic has made use of his explosiveness in the always exciting finish of the Carretera de Girona to take the first victory against the world champion Remco Evenepoel, who expects to be his great rival.
Thus, Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) becomes the first leader of the 102nd edition of the Volta a Catalunya, which will live seven stages full of attractions until Sunday 26 March in Barcelona. The Slovenian, who returns to the Volta a Catalunya seven editions after his first -and so far only- participation in the Catalan UCI World Tour race, has come back demonstrating his world-class level, winning the stage in a sprint ahead of the world champion, Belgian Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step), and Dutchman Ide Schelling (Bora-hansgrohe).
The stage started with a breakaway of five riders formed by Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH), Alessandro De Marchi (Team Jayco-Alula), Rune Herregodts (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Pau Miquel (Team Kern Pharma) and Oscar Onley (Team DSM). The four mountain passes on the day's route, the Alt de Santa Pellaia, the Alt dels Àngels, the Alt de la Ganga and the Alt de Romanyà, allowed Bol to take the lead in the mountain classification.
On the last of the mountain passes, when the breakaway got closer to the group, the Team Jumbo Visma team's interest in seeking the stage victory in a finish that favoured the explosive characteristics of its leader, who had just won the Tirreno-Adriatico with three stage victories, could already be seen. Finally, after the intermediate sprints in Santa Cristina d'Aro and Calonge and Sant Antoni, and after avoiding an important crash in the last five kilometres, the triple winner of the Vuelta a España has achieved an authoritative victory that places him at the head of one of the few UCI WorldTour stage races that he has yet to add to his list of victories.
Tomorrow, the Volta a Catalunya 2023 will experience an important challenge in the second stage, which will link Mataró and the Vallter ski resort on a 165.4-kilometre route. The Coll de Coubet (1st category) and the final ascent to Vallter (special category) will be a big challenge for the riders of the Volta a Catalunya 2023, as well as the opportunity to see the state of Roglic and Evenepoel in front of the long list of aspirants that accompany them.