Mountains battles LIVE on SBS VICELAND: Volta a Catalunya preview

Starting in the wee hours of Tuesday morning AEDT, the Volta a Catalunya is compelling viewing for those that enjoy a proper mountains battle across a variety of testing parcours.

After last year's planned 100th edition of the Volta a Catalunya ran foul of COVID, organisers have backed up with a traditional journey around the northeastern region of Spain, taking in the climbs and challenges of the area.

Some of the top general classification contenders in the world are present on the startline, with five Grand Tour winners in Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation), Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange), Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) all vying to be the best in Barcelona.

Past editions of the race have seen Spanish legends of cycling dominate, but you only have to go back to 2015 to find an Australian winner in Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers). The Tasmanian is taking to the start after crashing out of Paris-Nice, but appeared to be in good form ahead of that poor luck. 

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He will be joined by fellow Australian GC contenders in Lucas Hamilton (Team BikeExchange) who was fourth at Paris-Nice and 2020 Giro d'Italia runner-up Jai Hindley (Team DSM). 



Volta Catalunya Stage-by-Stage on SBS VICELAND

LIVE to Eastern States (delayed to other time zones on SBS HD), live streaming to all SBS On Demand  

Stage 1: 178 km Calella to Calella

It's become the traditional start to the Volta a Catalunya and the intriguing parcours looks set to give attackers or the sprinting climbers the best chance at claiming the first white and green leader's jersey.

Volta a Catalunya
Source: Getty


Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 1 

Tuesday March 23  

0120 - 0315  AEDT

Stage 2: 18.5 km TT in Banyoles

The course is actually a bit shorter than the orginally planned route (shown below) and will give those general classification candidates with pedigree against the clock a chance to shine.

Volta a Catalunya
Source: ASO


Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 2 

Wednesday March 24  

0115 - 0315 AEDT

Stage 3: 203 kms Canal Olímpic de Catalunya to Vallter 2000

Despite the length of the stage, it's alll about the final climb today! The 11 kilometres climb to the finish line atop Vallter averages 7.6 per cent, a serious challenge that the pure climbers will be keen to tackle.

Volta a Catalunya
Source: ASO


Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 3 

Thursday March 25  

0115 - 0315 AEDT

Stage 4: 167kms Ripoll - Port Aine

A series of testing climbs should make the racing nice and open for a potential breakaway to have a crack at the stage win if the teams of the climbers won't or can't keep the race together for someone from the peloton to take the win. 

The summit finish to Port Aine contains rough road surfaces, a bit of gravel and a overall length of 18.5 kilometres at an average gradient of 6.8 per cent.

Volta a Catalunya
Source: ASO
 

Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 4

Friday March 26

0115 - 0315 AEDT

Stage 5: 201 kms La Pobla de Segur to Manresa

The Port de Montserrat climb, 8.5kms at 6.9 per cent appears the decisive point of the course, but with 27 kms to the finish from the peak of the climb, there will be plenty of scope for action on the run to the finish.

Volta a Catalunya
Source: ASO


Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 5

Saturday March 27

0115 - 0315 AEDT

Stage 6: 194 kms Tarragona to Mataró

A hilly day in the saddle, but one that might finally provide some respite for the climbers and hope for the attackers. 

Volta a Catalunya
Source: ASO


Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 6

Sunday March 28

0115 - 0315 AEDT

Stage 7: 133 kms Barcelona to Barcelona

The last stage of the Volta a Catalunya revolves around Alto de Montjuïc in Barcelona. It will be a short and sweet one for spectators, with the final battle of the week of racing coming down to six circuits on a hilly 7.8 kilometres city course containing the nasty climb of Alto de Montjuïc.

Volta a Catalunya
Source: ASO


Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 7

Monday March 29

2130 - 2330 AEDT


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4 min read
Published 22 March 2021 at 12:38pm
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS