C-Cycling.com Volta a Catalunya 2015 Preview and Favorites

23-29 March 2015

Last year’s Volta a Catalunya had one of the strongest lineups of the season. This year’s edition doesn’t disappoint. In addition to the impressive field, we’ll also get the second big GC fight between Alberto Contador and Chris Froome anno 2015.

The route
This year’s course is not as mountainous as the one in 2014. With only one uphill finish, the GC riders have to ride aggressively on the undulating stages if they want to gain time on their rivals. The opening stage has the same finish as last year. The first climbs are a bit harder, but the most likely scenario is another bunch sprint in Calella. The second stage is tricky. The last 25 km include a couple of short hills with gradients around 4-6 %. There is a part of 11 % with about 10 km to go, meaning the GC riders may want to test their legs despite the flat finish.

A big part of the peloton will be on familiar roads in Girona on stage 3. The category 1 climb, Alt del Àngels (6 km / avg. 5.5 %), has its top with just 13 km to go. Again, another opportunity to attack and gain time in the general classification before the mountain top finish on day 4. It’s more or less an exact copy of the stage from 2014 with the 5.5 km ascent to La Molina. Stage 5 and 6 are for the sprinters, while the final stage in Barcelona is the last chance for the GC riders to gain time. The eight laps on Montjuic include a couple of difficult uphill sections. Last year, the organizers had to cancel a part of the circuit due to the weather. Hopefully, it won’t be the case this time.

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