Evenepoel, Roglic and Bernal will fight for a Volta between mountains

With the tradition that characterizes a hundred-year-old race, which is now in its twelfth edition, and with a lineup that doesn’t have much to envy to that of the big three, the most mountainous Volta a Catalunya since 2001 was presented this Wednesday at the INEFC headquarters in Barcelona. A test to be held from March 20 to 26which will start in the coastal town of Sant Feliu de Guixols and will end in Barcelona with the famous ascent to the magical mountain of Montjuïc, where epic cycling stories have been written and where three of the greats hope to reach the top. names practically confirmed by the organization: the Belgian Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step), Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers).

In the case of Evenepoel, 23 years old and current road world champion, his willingness to participate in the Volta has transcended. If the organization safely counts on the participation of the Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Olympic champion in Tokyo in time trial) and the Colombian Egan Bernal (Giro and Tour winner), who a year ago suffered a spectacular accident that took him away from the competition and he seriously sent him to the hospital but this season he has started fully recovered and with good feelings. In the 2019 edition he already participated in the Volta and was third.

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It is a privilege to continue offering the best cycling in the world throughout Catalonia for a week, keeping alive the legacy of an organization 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”, explained Rubén Peris, eternal director of the race. The great novelty of this edition is the route, with three hilltop finishes (La Molina, Vallter and Lo Port) and a total of 25 scoring ports, an ideal route that favors the show and benefits cyclists who dominate the mountains.

The event, in which the Catalan sports authorities and the city attended, also served to present the poster for the race, the work of the Valencian painter Miguel Soro; the official song has also been known, ‘Houston’, from the Sexenni group, who won the #iCatVolta contest. Mention has also been made of the women’s event that will take place on Saturday, April 29 in Sant Cugat del Vallès.

STAGE 1: Sant Feliu de Guíxols, 164.6 km

Sant Feliu de Guíxols will be the starting point of the Volta for the second year. From the city of Empordà, the start and finish of a first stage of 164.6 kilometers will be held that can bring surprises, with up to four scoring ports (the Alt dels Àngels, in the 2nd category is added) and an explosive finish that in the last two visits of the race (2019 and 2022) have had Australian Michael Matthews as winner.

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STAGE 2: Mataró-Vallter, 165.4 km

The high mountains will arrive soon in the Volta 2023, with a first high altitude finish in the second stage, which will unite Mataró and Vallter on a 165.4-kilometre route. The Coll de Coubet, in the 1st category, will be more demanding before arriving at the ski resort, an entire special category port that has hosted a finish line in the Catalan race six times.

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STAGE 3: Olost-La Molina, 180.6 km

The second mountain stage will not be long in coming and will take place on the third day, which will have 180.6 kilometers between Olost, an unprecedented start in the centenary history of the race, and La Molina, a modern classic from the last decade where four have won final winners of the Volta. Previous climbs at Coll de Coubet (1st category) and Coll de la Creueta (one of the three special category passes on this year’s route) will help make the selection.

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STAGE 4: Llívia-Sabadell, 188.2 km

The fourth stage will cover 188.2 kilometers between Llívia and Sabadell in the longest day of this edition, one of the most favorable to a sprint finish, despite the fact that the ascent from the start in La Molina (1st category) and the climbs from the Collet de Sant Agustí and the Coll de Lligabosses (3rd category) will add even more wear and tear on the legs of the Volta peloton.

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STAGE 5: Tortosa-Lo Port, 178.6 km

If something makes the route of this 102nd edition of the Volta a Catalunya exceptional, it will be the fifth stage, a day of 178.6 kilometers that will show the cycling potential of the four regions of Terres de l’Ebre, starting from Tortosa and a monumental high arrival at Lo Port. It will be the third high finish of the edition, in a special category port with the necessary hardness to be decisive in the final resolution of the race.

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STAGE 6: Martorell-Molins de Rei, 177 km

The sixth stage will unite Martorell and Molins de Rei, two towns in Baix Llobregat that return to the Volta route after decades of absence in a 177-kilometre journey that will take cyclists through leg-breaking terrain through the center of Catalonia, reaching the territory from Lleida. In the final part, the ascents to Alt de la Creu d’Aragall (2nd category) and Alt de Fontpineda (3rd category) can bring surprises.

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STAGE 7: Barcelona, ​​142 km

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 that this year includes the Alt de Begues (2nd category) before returning to the final circuit in Montjuïc, which always offers a competitive show with a special public to close a week of emotions.

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