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Last edition showed the importance of being on top of your game at all times by taking time bonuses whenever you can. When they finished in Barcelona, overall winner Porte and number four Contador were only 7 seconds apart. Actually, Porte owed his win to finishing second place in last year’s only mountain stage to La Molina. Van Garderen took the stage win, but as the American had crashed the day before he was out of GC competition.
As a matter of fact, stage 3 in this year’s edition goes to Molina, while stage 4 promises to be a GC maker also. So Froome, Quintana, Contador and all those other world class riders at the start list have to be wide awake.
The start list boasts a quartet of former winners of the Volta a Catalunya. Joaquim Rodriguez won his home race twice, while Alberto Contador, Daniel Martin and Richie Porte all were the victor on one occasion.
Favourites Volta a Catalunya 2016:
*** Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Richie Porte
** Fabio Aru, Joaquim Rodriguez, Geraint Thomas, Tejay van Garderen
* Tom Dumoulin, Rigoberto Uran, Romain Bardet, Ilnur Zakarin, Daniel Martin