Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2024 – GC Preview

The season continues in Spain for the general classification riders.

Stage 1

The stage has nearly 2500 climbing meters and ends with an uphill sprint in Sant Feliu de Guíxols. We’ve seen this uphill sprint in the two previous editions, with Matthews winning in 2022 and Roglic taking it in 2023.

Stage 2

The riders visit Vallter 2000 on stage 2. It too has been used often, with Adam Yates winning here in 2019 and 2021, while Ciccone took the stage win ahead of Evenepoel and Rolgic in 2023. It takes 30 minutes for the best.

Stage 3

Another mountain stage finishing on Port Ainé. It is not used as often, the last time was in 2021 with Esteban Chaves taking a 7 km solo win. The climb is a longer effort, close to 48 minutes for the best.

Stage 4

The pure sprinters get their first chance on stage 4. It is a fairly technical sprint.

Stage 5

This stage looks perfect for the breakaway. Otherwise, you have to be a versatile sprinter to survive Alt de la Creu d’Aragall.

Stage 6

I think this stage looks fantastic. We have Coll de Pradell (last 5.5 km at 11%) halfway through, meaning the stage will become hectic to control afterwards. It certainly is a good day to have a strong team.

Stage 7

Barcelona. It can end with a breakaway, a reduced GC sprint or simply the top favorites fighting in out. It depends on the GC situation.


This will of course be monitored throughout the stage race. I note rain on the Barcelona stage, which could make it have a bigger impact on the GC than usually. Otherwise, fairly warm compared to the rest of the races in Europe.


I think Port Ainé (stage 3) and stage 6 with Coll de Pradell (last 5.5 km at 11%) will be the most important GC stages. Behind them are Vallter 2000 and the stage in Barcelona. It more or less means you have to be very good on long efforts plus be able to handle more explosive terrain – you have to be an all-around strong climber.

Pogacar – starts as the big favorite. I am fairly certain he will win. What I do hope to see from the team is cohesion. I think his teammates should look at this as an opportunity to show their strength and demonstrate a very high level.

Kuss – He doesn’t like being the team leader. I’m not sure he is. However, it doesn’t mean he will not perform here. He is one of the best climbers here and as we don’t have a time trial, he should start as a solid podium contender. It is not for certain he will perform that well but a top-10 is realistic.

Uijtdebroecks – 7th in Tirreno-Adriatico. He will hope for something similar. He lost 1:10 in the TT, it could have been a lot closer to a top-5 as his climbing was rather good. He is very consistent, I’d imagine he ends up in the top-10 here. He is good on longer climbs but I fear for his explosiveness.

Landa – he will get his chances this season. He did well in Algarve which was four weeks ago. I’d imagine he can fight for a top-5 here. Is is still a very strong climber.

Bernal – he is slowly getting back. But he is not there yet. A top-10.

L. Martinez – the young rider has had a strong start to the year. As this race does not have a time trial, his chances of reaching the podium is not unrealistic. It will require him to perform at 100%, which is not a certainty. He is not the most consistent of riders.

Vlasov – he was the best Bora – Hansgrohe rider in Paris-Nice. He struggles from time to time with longer efforts, it may cost him his podium. A top-5.

Mas – 12th in Tirreno-Adriatico. Not impressive. He should move into the top-10 here.

S. Yates – skipped Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico. A different approach. I think he will be the closest competitor to Pogacar. He should finish on the podium.

Van Gils – how far can he go? I don’t think a top-10 is out of reach.

Who will win?

Tadej Pogacar.

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