Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2024 – Stage 5 Preview

A day for the sprinters or a day for the breakaway?


Just 2200 meters of climbing but Alt de la Creu d’Aragall is fairly close to the line. It may have the teams with a sprinter consider their options.

The peloton moves north east tomorrow.

Alt de la Creu d’Aragall

This is hard enough to drop the sprinters. It is a proper climb. The main issue for the breakaway may be the bonus seconds after the descent.


Here you have the route home from Alt de la Creu d’Aragall. The first half is mostly downhill, while the remaining 16 kilometers are flat.

The finale is not easy inside Viladecans. As on stage 4, you can take most of the roundabouts both ways.

4500m out, only left side.
3600m out, right turn.
2300m out, left turn.
1750 out, right turn.
600m out, right turn.


A tailwind for most of the stage, until Alt de la Creu d’Aragall. It will make it easier for the sprinters to hang on. Then, the headwind home. Usually, you’d think “this is bad for a sole attacker”. You may be proven wrong, Anthony Perez did a 75 km solo with a headwind, as nobody behind wants to pull. It suits a TT rider, if we see a solo.

How will the stage unfold?

Here you have the opening part of the race. Flat. It means the riders making the move need an engine or a rider to slingshot them. Slingshots rarely work, so if you are a betting man or women, make sure the rider you pick can get away on his own. It may also end with the breakaway forming on the first categorized climb: Coll de Les Ventoses (10.2 km at 4%).

I think the breakaway stands a very good chance. If the teams with a sprinter decide to chase the entire stage, the GC teams will just destroy their plans.


You’d here argue for the 4-minute rule. However, nobody in the top-10 is willing to give up their spot. I’d argue and 8-minute rule is more plausible.

Nick Schultz – already took a stage win here. He can climb well and he has a good kick on the line. In recent weeks, he has shown why he was close to winning a stage in the Tour de France 2022.

Leknessund – he has the engine to get away on the flat and the engine to stay away after the climb. He has gone from a possible GC top-10 contender to a breakaway rider. So far, it hasn’t been a succes.

Van Wilder – he may need to save himself for stage 6 and stage 7. Nonetheless, he hasn’t looked good since UAE Tour. Still, he is a class rider than can solo, climb with the best and sprint.

Stephen Williams – it is a stage that suits him. Does he know how to get in the morning move with a flat start? That is where I think he may run into problems. If he makes it up the road, he will be top to drop and even harder to beat on the line.

Andreas Kron – a stage well-suited for him. I completely forgot just how good he was in the last part of 2023. He is very consistent in getting in the breakaway, and he has half of his pro wins here.

Dorian Godon – form is looking very good just now. In both scenarios, he is a podium contender.

Soler – I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the breakaway despite Pogacar leading the race.

Pogacar – he will likely smoke everyone in the bunch sprint, if UAE drop the sprinters.

Coquard – too tough for him.

M. van den Berg – he can climb very well. With a stage win already, he may ask the team if they will help getting a second one. I doubt they can control the stage.

Who will win?

I will take a breakaway win for Andreas Kron.

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