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Volta a Catalunya - Discussion
Preview made by knockout, race report made by Nemolito

Welcome to Catalunya! We are looking forward to tomorrow when 111 riders of 14 teams will start this prestigious race in Lloret de Mar. This race is usually won by a strong stage racer and we expect the same to happen this year again. We will see a first time winner since the startlist does not include a former winner of this race. Part of the reason is that the race has changed category and will be a C2HC race this year.


The race starts with a hilly stage around Lloret de Mar. A short downhill seperates the final climb from the finish line so punchy sprinters might hope to contest puncheurs and climbers for the stage victory.

It's followed by a stage that is as flat as you will get here in Catalunya which the pure sprinters will enjoy.

Stage 3 is a stage that is beloved by some teams and hated by others: A team time trial on a 40 km long circuit around the small town of Banyoles.

Then it's time for the big mountains of the Pyrenees. A cruel stage featuring four tough mountain passes and totalling 209km with the finish being in the ski resort Port Ainé at 1950m above sea level.

Stage 5 is a lot easier with the main obstacle a circuit featuring a medium climb thats ridden twice near the finish and possibly the best chance for a break to steal a stage win.

And for the final stage, the riders head north again towards the french border where the ascent the ski resort La Molina will decide the race.

GC Favourites

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/adp.png Mas 7877747777*****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/bwt.png Kozhatayev 7774757169*****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/vlf.png Amador 8071687066***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gla.png Martin 7873726970****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gct.png Roson 7876707774**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/mck.png Kuss 7871767169***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/adp.png Borisavljevic 7773747565*****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/pns.png Ratiy 7969727557*
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gct.png Salinas 7773747072**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/hlf.png Diaz 7870737168**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tlt.png Iino 7773727367***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/hlf.png Potocki 7772717564**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/vlf.png Brenes 7872786868***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/bns.png Schultz 7676807571**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/vlf.png Chaves 7679737272***

The startlist contains lots of potential winners as the CT teams look evenly matched in the mountains. The two top favourites might be Enric Mas and Kozhatayev who both have a very strong TTT lineup behind them. If both of them forgot everything they have learned about TTT riding last season, they stand a good chance to compete for the victory.

Andrei Amador might be the biggest name on the startlist. With the amount of climbing the two key stages have and one of the strongest teams at his side, he is surely one of the men to watch.

The climbers that have already proven in the Vuelta al Tachira to be competitive this season will surely try to follow the race up with a second strong result. Particularly the quartett of Martin, Kuss, Salinas and Potocki knew to convince by finishing in the top 5 and would love to repeat that result.

Stage Hunters

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/pns.png Vogt7362806263
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tlt.png Bystrom7268796876
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/vlf.png Chaves7076796072
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/sva.png Palini6970786874
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/adp.png Paez7372777376
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/sva.png Azman6976776575
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gla.png Haas7165766873
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/ccc.png Vanderbiest7363638175
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gct.png Avelino6952628175
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gla.png Bennett7153647979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/bns.png Altanzul7265697875
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/ccc.png Liepins7360667879
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/sva.png Kreder7364757778
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/taf.png Ranneries6951557780


BWT Hyundai N Cycling8*****77-77-76-76-73-72-68-67
Aramco DP8*****78-78-76-74-74-70-68-68
Glanbia Foods Cycling Project8****77-77-76-73-72-69-68-57
Trans Looney Tunes8***78-73-71-69-68-68-61-58
McCormick Pro Cycling8***77-73-70-68-68-67-64-64
Volcanica - Fox8***74-74-73-69-68-68-64-59
BNZ-Superhero Racing8**76-72-70-70-68-67-64-56
Crabbe-CC Chevigny8**78-75-66-64-62-61-59-59
Gjensidige Pro Cycling Team8**77-71-67-66-64-61-60-55
Tafjord Kraft8*72-66-66-64-64-63-62-58
Pas Normal Studios - Mikkeller8*73-67-66-65-63-61-61-59
Eddie Stobart8*69-68-64-63-61-60-60-56

BWT and Aramco are the top favourites for the TTT stage with 8 strong time triallists. Glanbia has a similar strong top 7 but decided to fill their squad with a sprinter for the final spot.

Here is the full startlist for the day:


Luis Leon Sanchez
Great preview thanks Nemolito!

It may be his first race for us as a leader but I expect Mas to win this or at least die trying. He’s the most well rounded rider for this race with his MO/HIL combo and he’s got a very strong No. 2 in Borisavljevic who will have hopes of his own to get a Top 5 at the very least.

We also have one of the strongest TTT set-ups in the division and most of those riders are here so I’m anticipating any time losses on Stage 1 to be more than covered before we go into the Mountains.

Paez also has a shot at a stage win on Stage 1 but his main role will be supporting as a domestique and he’s not alone as we have Hasnaoui who is a very capable climber who should stick around to chase down attacks.

Expecting a lot so I’m looking forward to this one! Wink
Looking forward to the best CT climbers going at it.

Nice preview knockout Smile


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
We have a very weak TT-squad. Ranneries will be our best shot. Maybe Lavery can do something as well.

Thank you for the preview knockout, this will be an interresting race Smile
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Hmm, plenty of competition!

I thought I could sneak Bennett in for the flat stage but I'm worried now he will hurt our TTT. I aimed for a top 3 but top 5 would definitely be acceptable.

Martin could be a bit vulnerable on the hilly stages
Glanbia Foods Cycling Project
Eyyy Kozhatayev went through some great TTT training last year Wink
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Croatia14 wrote:
Eyyy Kozhatayev went through some great TTT training last year Wink

X Doubt.

Go Enric!
Andy Schlecks Debut!!! He is our mountain leader but I'm not sure how that will go so we have the more well rounded Schultz here as well. It'll be an interesting race. I'm really excited to see how the team goes!
Croatia14 wrote:
Eyyy Kozhatayev went through some great TTT training last year Wink

And to make sure his TTT training pays off, I've assembled a TTT squad around him for the race.

And I also have my insurance policy here - Will Barta. Tachira didn't went smoothly for him comming up short of Top 10 and U25 win, but he can very well be our dark horse candidate if Kozhatayev hits trouble
With luck we find a better form than the one we showed at Tachira. Although that TTT gives me headaches. As a matter of fact I don't think there's another type of stage I enjoy less, even flat ones are more fun, strictly from my point of view.
We are aiming for a stage win and a top 10 and hopefully we can achieve that. It will definitely be great to watch the race unfold.
Thank you for the preview, knockout! And good luck to everyone!
Ulrich Ulriksen
Yes, that TTT really a blight on this race otherwise pretty good race for Kuss with neither of the hilly stages looking that selective. But despite sending our "best" TTT team think we will lose a lot there, and with Kuss being one of the weakest that will further hamper them.

Wouldn't mind seeing him distanced on the GC and being given the freedom to go for a stage win on one of the MT stages. McNulty should have another run at the young rider jersey but think he got his luck in Tachira.

Debated sending Boswell, glad I didn't.

Thanks for the preview looking forward to the race.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
Thks for the preview, knockout and looking forward to the racing. Hoping we get some surprising stage results and perhaps even a chance at the kom jersey with Azman goes on the attack early on.

"It’s a little bit scary when Contador attacks." - Tommy V
Great preview and good luck to all.
I missed the planning not taking all our TT guys here. Oh well.
Luis Leon Sanchez
Cool to see a former rider do something he didn’t do for me which is win something Grin

In all seriousness, 3rd for Paez is a good result for us as I didn’t really want to be leading the GC with anyone but Mas at this stage. Good to see Mas finished comfortably in 9th and I had 3 other riders in the front group.

Wouldn’t be surprised to see a breakaway take Stage 2 so as long as they’re kept relatively close then all is good!
Well, this isn't something we see regularly - Siim Kiskonen, who is a supporting rider to our leaders, was our best rider in this stage. Well played and Barta and Kozhatayev didn't lose time at all which is another plus for us come the TTT stage.

Congrats to TinxiaS for the stage win and to Nemolito for the stage report
A dull day for Glanbia and that's fine. Not just Martin but Craddock and Brandt not losing anytime.

Haas disappointing on the hills but all eyes on the GC
Glanbia Foods Cycling Project
Survive the first stage, check.
Congrats to TinxiaS for the stage win and to Nemolito for the stage report!
Thanks for the nice report. Great first stage for our stage hunters, so close to our first victory since the revival but we still have to wait a bit.

"It’s a little bit scary when Contador attacks." - Tommy V
Ulrich Ulriksen
Same sentiment as others, first stage checked off with the key guys in the front group.

McNulty and Barta two of the only three U25 in the front group. Looks like the two Americans will be repeating their Tachira battle. Although the TTT could mess with that.

Would have been nice to see Chaiyasombat (sympathize on the spelling) take more KOM points but good to see him in the break.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
I loved the attack of Chaves! A pity it didn't succeed, but loved it nonetheless. This time around. The sentiment is there because now his attack makes sense and he didn't do it from a light years distance. Herrada once again does an excellent job and Barbero is there for the stage fight. We're doing good for the moment, but I still hate that TTT.
Congratulations to Trinxia and thanks for the report!
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