Although it’s the eight consecutive time that the Volta a Catalunya begins with a race from Calella to Calella, the route is never the same. Last year’s inaugural stage was played out on an undulating route at the end of which young Álvaro José Hodeg outsprinted Sam Bennett and Jay McCarthy on the line.
The opener of the 2019 edition is much harder. The route takes in the Port de Collsacreu early on before the huge Port de Santa Fe del Montseny (17.5 kilometres at 5.4%) is crested at an altitude of 1,285 metres. The second half of the race features Alt El Muntanyà (3.9 kilometres at 73%) and Coll Formic before returning to the Porte de Collsacreu with 34 kilometres remaining.
The Collsacreu is 3rd category, but the Santa Fe del Montseny, El Muntanyà and Coll Formic are all 1st category KOM climbs, so this is a tough start of the Volta a Catalunya.
Calella is a seaside town 55 kilometres north of Barcelona. Other winners of the Calella-Calella stage are David Cimolai (2017, sprint), Nacer Bouhanni (2016, sprint), Maciej Paterski (2015, early break), Luka Mezgec (2014, sprint), Gianni Meersman (2013, sprint), and Michael Albasini (2012, solo).
The first three riders on the line win time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 second, while two intermediate sprints (at kilometre 89 and at kilometre 142) come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds each.
Another interesting read: results/race report 1st stage 2019 Volta a Catalunya.
Volta a Catalunya 2019 stage 1: route, profile, more
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