The 102nd edition of the Volta a Catalunya presents a top-class route
February 1 st 2023 - 19:00 [GMT + 1]
All the details of the 102nd edition of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya where made public today in the official presentation held this February 1st at the headquarters of the INEFC in Barcelona. The historic Catalan cycling race, which will take place between the 20th and 26th of March, has made public all the details of its route, with three mountain stages which add an almost unprecedented demand to a race that attracts the best cyclists in the world.
The presentation, which could be followed live on television on the Esport3 channel, had one of its great attractions in the publication of the complete route of the race, consolidated in the highest category of cycling, the UCI WorldTour. The best cycling teams in the world -a total of 25- will offer a great spectacle in the seven stages that will link Sant Feliu de Guíxols and Barcelona, showing once again the cycling potential and beauty of Catalonia.
"It is a privilege to continue offering the best road cycling in the world throughout Catalonia for a week, keeping alive the legacy of an organisation that, for decades, has worked to achieve, consolidate and maintain the prestige of an event that is the heritage of Catalan sport and world cycling", said the race director, Rubèn Peris, who unveiled the seven stages of a Volta a Catalunya 2023 which is expected to be very demanding. With three uphill finishes (Vallter, La Molina and Lo Port), an unprecedent fact since the 2001 edition, the Volta presents a route with a total of 25 mountain passes that also maintains its explosive finish on the Montjuïc circuit in Barcelona.
The reigning world champion, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step), heads the list of stars who have the intention to take part in this year's Volta, along with other highly anticipated names such as three-time Vuelta a España winner Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Tour de France and Giro d'Italia winner Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), who already knows what it's like to stand on the Volta podium (3rd in 2019).
Three mountain finishes for the 2023 Volta
Sant Feliu de Guíxols will be the starting point of the Volta for the second year. The Empordà town will be the start and finish of a first stage of 164.6 kilometres that could bring surprises, with up to four mountain passes (the Alt dels Àngels, of 2nd category, is added) and an explosive finish that in the last two visits of the race (2019 and 2022) has had the Australian Michael Matthews as the winner.
The mountains challenges will arrive soon in the 2023 Volta, with a first uphill finish in the second stage, which will start in Mataró and finish in the Vallter ski station on a 165.4 kilometre route. The Coll de Coubet, 1st category climb, will be demanding before the arrival at the ski resort, an real ‘hors categorie’ climb which has hosted a finish of the Catalan race on six occasions.
We will not have to wait for second mountain stage, which will be located on the third day. We will see 180.6 kilometres of racing between Olost, an unprecedented start in the centenary history of the race, and La Molina, a classic of the last decade on whose slopes four GC winners of the Volta have won a stage. The previous climbs at the Coll de Coubet (1st category) and the Coll de la Creueta (one of the three ‘hors categorie’ passes on this year's route) will make the selection.
The fourth stage will cover 188.2 kilometres between Llívia and Sabadell in the longest stage of this edition, one of the most favourable for a sprint finish, although the climb from the start in La Molina (1st category) and the climbs of Collet de Sant Agustí and Coll de Lligabosses (3rd category) will add even more fatigue to the legs of the Volta peloton.
If anything makes the route of this 102nd edition of the Volta a Catalunya exceptional, it is the fifth stage, a 178.6 kilometres route which will show the cycling potential of the Terres de l'Ebre region, with a start from Tortosa and a monumental uphill finish at Lo Port. It will be the third high finish of the edition, in a real ‘hors categorie’ climb with the necessary hardness to be decisive in the final resolution of the race.
The sixth stage will link Martorell and Molins de Rei, two towns in the Baix Llobregat that return to the Volta route after decades of absence in a 177-kilometre day which will take the cyclists through a leg-breaking terrain in the centre of Catalonia, reaching the territory of Lleida. In the final part of the stage, the climbs of Alt de la Creu d'Aragall (2nd category) and Alt de Fontpineda (3rd category) may bring surprises.
Finally, Barcelona will once again be the judge of the Volta a Catalunya in its seventh stage, starting and finishing in the capital of Catalonia on a 142-kilometre route which this year incorporates the Alt de Begues (2nd category) before returning to the final circuit on Montjuïc, which always offers a special competitive and public spectacle to close a week of emotions.
All the presentation details
The presentation of the 102nd Volta Ciclista a Catalunya has also made public the official poster of this year, made by the Valencian painter and former cyclist Miguel Soro, and had the live performance of the music group Sexenni presenting "Houston", the official song of the race after winning a contest coordinated with the radio station iCat. There was also an opportunity to point out the 4th edition of the reVolta, the women's race of the Volta that this year will make a new step to the UCI international calendar on Saturday 29 April. Mireia Ingla, mayoress of Sant Cugat del Vallès, host of the race for the third year, presented the event.
The Secretary General for Sport and Physical Activity of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Anna Caula, opened an event attended by political, institutional and private personalities involved in the Volta, including numerous mayors from the different venues of this year's edition. The Sports Councillor of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, David Oliveras, the Sports Deputy of the Girona Provincial Council, Jordi Masquef, the President of the Tourism Office and Vice-President of the Tarragona Provincial Council, Meritxell Roigé and the Deputy Delegate of Sports of the Barcelona Provincial Council and Sports Councillor of the Barcelona City Council, David Escudé, have participated at different moments of the presentation, closed with the intervention of the Councillor of the Presidency of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Laura Vilagrà.
Finally, the annual organisation's Medals of Honour were awarded to Juli Pernas, Xevi Soler, Isaac Vilalta, Néstor Biosca, Àlex Flor and the Molins de Rei Cycling Club, which is celebrating its 75th birthday.
The Volta a Catalunya, the third oldest cycling stage race in the world after the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia, faces its 102nd edition in great shape, fully consolidated in the UCI World Tour calendar and with the presence of the best cycling teams in the world, who will try to write add his name to the race palmarès after Colombian Sergio Higuita, winner in 2022. The last edition of the Volta had an impact of more than 11,5 milions of spectators worldwide thanks to its diffusion in 190 territories around the globe.