Volta a Catalunya 2023 Route stage 4: Llívia – Sabadell
Thursday 23 March - The 4th stage of te Volta a Catalunya looks promising for fast finishers. The route begins in Llívia in the heart of the Pyrenees to finish in Sabadell, just north of Barcelona and almost at sea level.
Llívia lies 1,223 metres above sea level, an altitude that obviously brings some risks for pro-cycling races this early in the season. The 4th stage of the 2017 Volta a Catalunya would have started here, but due to weather conditions (snow) the roads were impassable and the start was rescheduled to Montferrer at an altitude of 600 metres.
There is something special about the starting venue. Llívia is Spanish – or, if you prefer, Catalan -, but it is completely surrounded by France. A situation that has existed since 1660. The year before that, in 1659, the Treaty of the Pyrenees ceded 33 Spanish villages in the area to the French crown. Llívia did not become part of the French kingdom, since a clever Spaniard noted it was (and is) considered to be a town and not a village.
So, after the start the route moves through France for a few kilometres before re-entering Spain. On rolling terrain the route continues downhill to finish in Sabadell on the outskirts of Barcelona. The town hosted the Volta a Catalunya ten times before. Luis Ocaña is the most famous victor. In 1971, he won a time trial in Sabadell before taking the overall victory several days later.
David de la Cruz was born in Sabadell, as is football player Sergio Busquets.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while intermediate sprints come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Watch the highlights of recent races here:
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