EFE · Road Competition · 03/18/2023
The director of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Rubn Peris, believes that in this edition of the race, which starts this Monday in Sant Feliu de Guxols (Girona), “the podium can be open” for the last stage in Barcelona, despite the fact that there are three mountain finishes, one more than is traditional.
“There are last-minute fringes left, for the participation to be luxurious again: Primoz Roglic, Richard Carapaz, Remco Evenepoel, Egan Bernal and many others who are part of the first level of international cycling will be at the Volta,” explains Peris in a interview with EFE.
The British Geraint Thomas, the Spanish Marc Soler and the Colombian Esteban Chaves, among other notable cyclists, will also start the Catalan race.
Asked how they get a large list of names or year after year, the director replies that as organizers they work “a lot along the way”, however they have the advantage of being located “at the beginning of the season and that there a good score for the UCI classification”.
In any case, Peris points out that being located right at the beginning of spring also has its dangers, which can come “in the form of snow and bad weather”, as has happened in previous editions of this cycling race.
The great news of this 102nd edition of the Volta is that there will be one more mountain stage than usual that will not be located in the Catalan Pyrenees.
To be the fifth, which will be held in Terres de l’Ebre, starting in Tortosa and ending in the demanding Lo Port. “The last climb to Lo Port will be very tough. The first ones will have a hard time there,” says Peris.
Regarding this toughening of the test, he also explains that they had “the commitment to go to the Terres de l’Ebre” and do not want to “sacrifice the Pyrenean stages”. Thus, the second stage ended at the Vallter 2000 ski resort and the third at La Molina.
But there will also be stages ideal for breakaways and even sprint finishes. However, none of them will have a completely flat course. This causes the illusion of a repeat of a dramatic escape, like the 133 kilometers in search of victory in the general that took place last year between Sergio Higuita and Richard Carapaz.
“Hopefully there will be stages like the one last year with the duel between Higuita and Carapaz”, wishes Peris. And he adds: “We looked for the seven days to be balanced between mountains and plains and to visit different places in Catalonia. This year we stayed to visit the Lleida area. But, in 2022, we did two and a half stages”.
This Monday’s stage will again have the start and finish in Sant Feliu de Guxols, as in the previous edition, with a terrain where the first differences can be marked.
“Sant Feliu de Guxols in particular and the Costa Brava in general is an area that has grown a lot in the world of cycling and the fact that the Volta is coming out of it has intensified it”, believes Peris, who comments that the international broadcasts cause that people want to ride the same routes as professional cyclists.
The images of the Tour of Catalonia will reach 190 passes this 2023 thanks to 33 television and digital broadcasters and 4 news agencies. On the Spanish scene, the race can be followed on Esport3, Teledeporte and Eurosport.
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