Stage 1 of Volta Catalunya started and finished in the coastal town of Calella. It proved to be a fast and very nervous stage as the difficult course meant that a sprint finish was not likely. No team was eager to control the race. After one hour of racing covering 50 kilometers, a breakaway of 6 riders went clear. This looked to be the move of the day but Orica-Greenedge missed the move and chased it back. During the second hour of racing a group of three was able to get away and stick. The peloton let this break gain almost 15 minutes before Sky, Movistar, Etixx, and Cannondale-Garmin began to chase. The wet twisty descents coupled with two big mountain passes allowed the break to hold it’s gap. Finally, Sky surged forward and split the peloton into pieces during the last last 3 km of the Cat 1 climb. After sitting in all day Tinkoff began to chase during the last 20 km and the gap to the 3 leaders started decreasing rapidly. But it was to little to late, at the finish the 3 riders had a 2:40 advantage. Macie Paterski (CCC) took the stage even after racing Milan-San Remo the day before placing an impressive 22nd. Pierre Roland (EuropCar) took 2nd and is a proven general classification rider finishing 4th in last years Giro d’Italia. While Bart DeClerc has been quietly climbing with the best since turning pro in 2011. It could be one of these two who could end up champion as in 2012 Michael Albasini pulled off a similar feat.
Stage 2 looks to be another a difficult course which should promote an aggressive race. Look for a sprinter who can climb (Luca Metzga of Giant fits this best) to stand on top of the podium in Olot. Stay tuned for a write up on tomorrows stage and don’t forget to subscribe
Highlights: Being able to get so close to the riders at the finish.
Lowlights: Getting so close to the riders at the finish and forgetting to switch by camera to “sport” mode. 😉