Stage 1 in the Volta a Catalunya leads over five mountain tops, all in the second half of a race of almost 180 kilometres. The last peak is crested with 20 kilometres left. According to Catalan standards stage 2 is mostly flat, so you might think this one is for the sprinters. No way. Short climb, drop, short climb, false flat final kilometre. Last year Alejandro Valverde powered to victory on these roads.
At 172.1 kilometres, stage 3 brings the first mountain stage. En route the Alt de Coubet and Alt de Toses lay waiting before a double ascent up to La Molina. The next day brings the Queen Stage in the Volta a Catalunya. The 4th stage totals over 50 climbing kilometres leading to Port Ainé. The closing climb is a 18.9 kilometres toil at 6.3%.
Stage 5 accounts for an interesting finale as the Alt de Lilla, a 6.3 kilometres climb at 4.8% leads to a 7.2 kilometres drop straight to the finish line. In stage 6 the most likely scenario it will be up to the sprinters, while the closing stage brings the traditional circuit in Barcelona. Centrepiece here is the Alto de Montjuic, the famous mountain overlooking the city, that is to be crested eight times after a 2 kilometres climb at 5.7%. Eventually, the finish line is at the end of a 3.9 kilometres drop.
Volta a Catalunya 2016: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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