Volta a Catalunya 2024: GC Favourites

Tadej pogacar - Volta a Catalunya 2024: GC Favouritesfoto: Cor VosThe Volta a Catalunya is the exception to the unspoken rule that stage races include at least one time trial. So climbers who lack time trial skills should come to the fore. That said, does it really matter in a field featuring Tadej Pogacar? Venga, our take on the favourites to win La Volta.

[Underneath text was written before the start of the Volta a Catalunya and has not been updated]

Last year, the Slovene won all stage races he competed in – okay, except, ouch!, one – and he also pocketed two Monuments. This season he continued in the same vein and he won his first race of the season – Strade Bianche – with an otherworldly solo. By virtue of his palmarès, Pogacar is the number one favourite to win the Volta a Catalunya.

The battle for the overall triumph on the Volta a Catalunya is expected to come down to the stages 2, 3 and 6, while the hilly criterium race on the last day of action is always compelling, but seldom leads to significant changes on GC.

Stage 2 is likely to open up the first time gaps among GC riders. But since it’s the easiest test of the mountainous trio, the gaps are not expected to be very big. Last year, the first ten riders finished within 15 seconds in Vallter.

While the run-up to the Vallter climb in stage 2 is not very remarkable, the 3rd stage serves a much more compelling first part. The total elevation gain of the race sums up to almost 4,000 metres, while the climb to the line in Port Ainé is 18.5 kilometres long and the average gradients sits at 6.8%.

The hardest day in the saddle seems to be the penultimate stage, in which the riders are to conquer an elevation gain of almost 4,100 metres in less than 155 kilometres. The 6 kilometres long finish climb to the Queralt Sanctuary is averaging 7.2%, but is spiked with several double digit ramps.

Primoz Roglic won last year’s Volta a Catalunya after an intriguing battle with Remco Evenepoel. Both are not competing this year. In fact, the only former winners are Sergio Higuita (2022) and Nairo Quintana (2016). The latter makes his comeback in the peloton after a one-year absence.

Favourites 2024 Volta a Catalunya

**** Tadej Pogacar
*** Aleksandr Vlasov, Sepp Kuss, Mikel Landa
** Carlos Rodriguez, Simon Yates, Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas
* Sergio Higuita, João Almeida, Cian Uijtdebroeks, Nairo Quintana

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