Although it’s the seventh time in a row the Volta a Catalunya begins with a race from Calella to Calella, the route is never the same. In last two editions the race was pretty hilly. Last year, the 1st stage of the Volta a Catalunya took in six climbs – and Davide Cimolai sprinted to victory. Two years ago, the opening of the Catalonian stage race took in five climbs – and Nacer Bouhanni outsprinted the bunch.
A bunch spint is the most likely outcome in 2018, too. While the roads are rarely pan-flat, the route is at most rolling. The last 2 kilometres of the only climb, de Alt de Collsacreu, are the steepest of today’s stage. This section goes up at around 5% before the summit is crested with 18 kilometres remaining. Most of it is on descent.
Calella is a seaside town 55 kilometres north of Barcelona. Other winners of the Calella-Calella stage were Michael Albasini (2012, solo), Gianni Meersman (2013, sprint), Luka Mezgec (2014, sprint) and Maciej Paterski (2015, early break).
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprints (at kilometre 46 and at kilometre 52.4) come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Volta a Catalunya 2018 stage 1: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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