Montjuïc is a scenic wooded hill overlooking Barcelona and that’s where the finale is played out. The climb rises 2.5 kilometres at 4.5%, but it really comes down to the last 900 metres. This section goes up 9.4%, while the run-up is false flattish.
After reaching the Montjuïc summit there are 3.6 kilometres remaining. The first 2.1 kilometres are on descent before the last 1.5 kilometres rise at almost 4% to the line. Looks perfect for punchers with downhill skills and fast legs. Someone like Roglic. Although Evenepoel seems to be getting faster and faster also. Last month he won the Clásica San Sebastián in a two-up sprint against Pello Bilbao.
Last March, Evenepoel and Roglic sprinted on several occasions for the win on the Volta a Catalunya. That race was one of of the most compelling clashes of the season. Both refused to budge in a battle that started on day one and ended on the finish line in Barcelona. Both took two stage wins, while Roglic won the overall with a margin of just 6 seconds. Let’s hope we get more of that now we are back in Spain.
Back to stage 2. The question mark hovering over this race is – attackers or GC riders? We would say the latter, or we at least hope for it.
Favourites 2nd stage 2023 Vuelta a España
*** Primoz Roglic, Romain Bardet, Remco Evenepoel
** Andrea Bagioli, Sergio Higuita, Romain Grégoire, Andreas Kron
* Oier Lazkano, Bauke Mollema, Thomas De Gendt, Filippo Zana, Rudy Molard
Another interesting read: route 2nd stage 2023 Vuelta.
Vuelta a España 2023 stage 2: routes & profiles
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