Report & Results – 94th Volta Ciclista a Catalunya


Stage win for Giant Shimano rider Luka Mezgec on the first of the stages in the 94th Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

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Report & Results – 94th Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

While the cycling world awaits the starts of the Spring Classics in Belgium and Holland this week, the ‘Tour’ riders continue their stage racing in the 94th edition of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (7 stages)

First to stand on the top step of the podium was Luka Mezgec who won the opening stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya just days after taking his first win of the season at the Handzame Classic.


Luka finished off a superb display by Team Giant-Shimano as they set pace throughout the day behind the day’s breakaway and then brought Luka to the fore at the finish to sprint for the win. It was Luka’s first WorldTour victory since winning a stage of the Tour of Beijing at the end of last season, and it has been a target for him since the start of the season.

The day’s 165.7km test featured a tough climbing finale but far earlier, Romain Lemarchand (Cofidis) and Boris Vallee (Lotto Belisol) escaped and quickly built up a lead in excess of eight minutes over the chasing peloton.

Near the summit of the penultimate first-category Alt de Montseny, Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural) jumped clear of the peloton and forged ahead. The Spaniard eventually bridged across to the two tiring leaders before the final ascent but with a number of teams driving the pace in the peloton behind, their days were numbered.

Attacks were plentiful on the final climb but as the peloton stretched its legs on the sweeping descent back into Calella, all the moves came to nothing although it was touch and go whether there would be a sprint win as there were plenty of attackers willing to have a go.

After the race came back together late on, the Giant Shimano team took to the head of the bunch to set the finish up and Luka unleashed his sprint from around 300m out. Despite being passed in the drag race to the line, Luka clawed his way back through, holding his speed and taking a fine win.

Luka said afterwards “It was a hard day today and I suffered a but on the climbs but the guys kept me going and supported me well. With 3km to go Warren Barguil brought me into position and then after that, Georg Preidler took me right to the front with 1km to race”.

“I lost a few places and had to go from far out to get through. Someone tried to box me in against the barriers but I was able to come through and get it at the end. Last week’s win was great for the confidence and together with good legs and a great team that makes the difference. We will try to defend the jersey tomorrow but after that the race will become very difficult.”

A day not to lose time for the GC contenders
Sprint days like this – over 160 riders finished in the same time – are the ones not to lose time and whilst Kenyan born Brit Chris Froome had a trouble-free run during stage one, Richie Porte finished 2:58 down on the lead group with the support of Sky team-mates Danny Pate and Josh Edmondson with the Aussie not feeling his best.

The stage race sees many of the worlds best stage race riders competing so having an under par Porte will be a blow to Sky. One of Froome’s rivals, Alberto Contador, also had a trouble free stage. Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Philippe Mauduit says “Everything went according to plan. It was obviously a day for the sprinters and our main goal was to protect Alberto and keep him out of trouble and the boys succeeded in doing so”

BMC’s GC contender and a late arrival at the team, Sami Sanchez, played a team role for the men in red, helping Marcus Burghardt to 7th place. BMC’s DS Yvon Ledanois explained “just before the downhill, Samuel talked to Tejay and the guys and told them that was the moment. It was perfect”.

Sanchez then helped Burghardt as Marcus explained “The team did a pretty good job, especially Sammy Sánchez, who worked well for me in the final. He helped me stay out of the wind and brought me into a good position. In the last metres, I was coming back pretty good, but I was missing the real punch to get in the top five and get some points.”

Stage 1
1 MEZGEC Luka Team Giant-Shimano 04:09:13
2 HOWARD Leigh Orica GreenEDGE
3 ALAPHILIPPE Julian Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4 MARTENS Paul Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
5 VAN DER SANDE Tosh Lotto Belisol
6 RATTO Daniele Cannondale
7 BURGHARDT Marcus BMC Racing Team
8 FERRARI Roberto Lampre – Merida
9 DUMOULIN Samuel AG2R La Mondiale
10 RéZA Kévin Team Europcar

21 RODRIGUEZ Joaquim Team Katusha
25 CONTADOR Alberto Tinkoff-Saxo
30 SáNCHEZ Samuel BMC Racing Team
31 LANCASTER Brett Orica GreenEDGE
32 SANCHEZ Luis Leon Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
34 BETANCUR Carlos AG2R La Mondiale
35 MARTIN Daniel Garmin Sharp
45 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team
53 YATES Adam Orica GreenEDGE
64 HESJEDAL Ryder Garmin Sharp
65 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE
66 HORNER Chris Lampre – Merida
85 QUINTANA Nairo Movistar Team
120 BASSO Ivan Cannondale
145 VOIGT Jens Trek Factory Racing
156 VOECKLER Thomas Team Europcar
163 HENDERSON Gregory Lotto Belisol 02:58
173 PORTE Richie Team Sky
175 EDMONDSON Joshua Team Sky


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