Vallter i Port Ainé, escenaris de luxe per una Volta 2024 d’altura
October 31 st 2023 - 12:35 [GMT + 1]
The hardness of the high mountains and the prestige of the high finishes will once again be the distinctive mark of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, which between 18 and 24 March 2024 will once again bring the world's best cycling to Catalan roads. The FGC Mountain resorts of Vallter and Port Ainé will be the protagonists of two stage finishes in the next edition, in addition to the already announced finish at the Santuari de Queralt. In this way, and with the announcement of the finishes in Vallter and Port Ainé, it will be the 103rd edition of the Catalan round that is expected to be once again one of the hardness in history.
The Volta a Catalunya 2024 confirms in its route two stages finishing in the mountain resorts of Vallter and Port Ainé. The two Pyrenean Mountain passes of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, two well-known in the modern history of the race where some of the biggest names in recent international cycling have won, ensure that the Catalan race will have prestigious high mountain stages, with great hardness and an undeniable attraction for the great specialists in stage tours of the international peloton.
This will be the eighth time that Vallter will be the protagonist of a stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. Since its premiere in 1986 with the victory of Juan Fernández, names of the relevance like Tony Rominger (1992), Nairo Quintana (2013), Tejay Van Garderen (2014), Adam Yates (2019 and 2021) and Giulio Ciccone (in the last edition, 2023) have achieved the victory in the Pyrenean summit. Vallter is the cycling roof of Catalonia, a special category pass that reaches 2,150 metres and has become a reference site for cyclingtourism.
Its more than 11 kilometres of ascent from Setcases with an average gradient of 7.6% have vertical signposting along all climb. For its part, Port Ainé has been climbed four times in the history of the Volta, hosting high finishes in the 2021 (victory for Colombian Esteban Chaves), 2016 (one of the five victories in the Catalan race by Belgian icon Thomas De Gendt) and 2013 (solo win by Irish Dan Martin that achieved the victory on the final general classification) editions. It was also planned for the 2012 edition, but weather conditions forced a finish in Canturri, with victory for Slovenian Janez Brajkovic.
So that, the Catalan race will return to Port Ainé three years after its last visit, once again offering fans the chance to enjoy the best riders in the world on a colossal climb: an 18.5 km long mountain pass, with an average gradient of 6.8% and maximum gradients of up to 15%.
"As every year, we revalidate our commitment and link with the Volta, an annual top-level event that places us in a great international showcase. The Volta allows us to revalidate our commitment to the territory and the sport of high competition, as we already do in other sports disciplines. Hosting two arrivals, Vallter and Port Ainé, allows us to project to the world not only our resorts, but also their environment, the natural parks where they are located, their natural and scenic wealth, and helps us to expand our activity beyond the white of the snow. Ferrocarrils mountain resorts are 365 days a year to enjoy, to develop activities related to sport and nature, to know the territory, its gastronomy, its culture, and this is our reason to be present. The collaboration with La Volta is a great element that helps us to shape this diversification of our offer," has expressed the President of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Toni Segarra.
“The confirmation of two stages finishing at the top of the mountain passes of Vallter and Port Ainé is a guarantee of spectacle for the Volta a Catalunya in 2024. It is a pleasure for us to count on the collaboration of the FGC mountain resorts to continue making the Volta a race of reference in international cycling, where fans will surely enjoy a great cycling stages in exceptional scenery", has stated the President of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Rubèn Peris.
The 103rd edition of the Volta will once again be one of the great mountain challenges on the UCI World Tour calendar. With the confirmation of the presence in the route of the two mountain resorts of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, the Volta 2024 ensures a race with three high altitude finishes, after the announcement a few weeks ago of a stage in Berguedà with a finish at the Santuari de Queralt.
This figure was already seen in the last edition of the race, which had finishes in Vallter, La Molina and Lo Port, but it is an exceptional event that has not been seen since the 2001 edition. This is yet another incentive to raise expectations for the 103rd edition of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, which will take place from 18 to 24 March 2024.
The Volta will look to relieve the last winner, the Slovenian Primoz Roglic, with the presence of the best teams and riders in the world starting from Sant Feliu de Guíxols. The specific location of the stages and the rest of the routes will be revealed over the next few weeks.