• Rohan Dennis will be hoping to build on his earlier performance at Tirreno-Adriatico. (Getty)Source: Getty
Fresh from a second place finish at the Tirreno-Adriatico, Australian Rohan Dennis will line up for the Volta a Catalunya alongside BMC team-mate Tejay van Garderen.
Cycling Central

18 Mar 2017 - 7:47 AM  UPDATED 18 Mar 2017 - 9:47 AM

The seven-stage Spanish race is deep with quality general classification riders, including Chris Froome (Sky), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Romain Bardet (AG2R), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo).

It's a punchy tour, immediately defined by the 1,500-metre climb included in the 178.9km opening stage in and around Calella before a 41.3km team time trial which would suit the well drilled BMC formation. 

As in Tirreno, Van Garderen will be the nominated team leader while Dennis will also enjoy protected status for the 20-27 March race.

"Tirreno-Adriatico went well for me, and I was happy to finish second overall but, now my attention has turned to next week," Dennis said.

"It will be important for me to recover well and this should hopefully improve my form once again before going to Catalunya. This will definitely be a tough race but the team time trial will be a big goal for us.

"It's 42km around the Banyoles area, and it could set us up for a good GC for Tejay van Garderen and myself.”

Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Brent Bookwalter (USA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA),  Kilian Frankiny (SUI), Ben Hermans (BEL) and Joey Rosskopf (USA) will be the riders Supporting Dennis and van Garderen.

"With Tejay van Garderen set to captain at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, we're going in very motivated," BMC sports director Jackson Stewart said. "He's won stages here before and has been in contention for the general classification multiple times. I am also interested to see what Rohan Dennis can do here, and after his performance at Tirreno-Adriatico, he will also be a protected rider."

"Our first priority will be the team time trial, and then we will approach each stage as it comes but, I think we will have a strong team in the mountains. Van Garderen has won on top of Molina before and with Dennis’s success in Italy, Ben Hermans’s early season performances in Valencia and Oman, and the experience of Samuel Sánchez, I am confident we can be very competitive."

Van Garderen will be under some pressure to perform as he targets his first Giro d'Italia in May and with Dennis now in the ascendency as a Grand Tour rider.

"This will be a good opportunity for me to continue to build my form and get some more racing kilometres in the legs leading into the Giro d'Italia," van Garderen said. "It's always a tough week of racing in Catalunya but I'm looking forward to it, especially with the team time trial on stage two."

Volta a Catalunya stages 21-27 March
Stage 1: Calella - Calella, 178.9km
Stage 2: Banyoles - Banyoles, 41.3km (TTT) 
Stage 3: Mataró - La Molina, 188.3km
Stage 4: Llívia - Igualada, 194.3km
Stage 5: Valls - Lo Port (Tortosa), 182km
Stage 6: Tortosa - Reus, 189.7km
Stage 7: Barcelona - Barcelona, 138.7km