Profiles. The Volta a Catalunya will be taking place from the 20th to the 27th of March in 2023 and it promises to be an exciting edition with three summit finishes throughout the seven-day Catalan stage-race, which will feature aswell the classic explosive finale in Barcelona.
The race will take place in the northeastern province of Catalunya where many pro riders live and train throughout the year. It is no surprise then that the race is marked by it's many hilly and mountainous stages. Whilst the sprinters will have two opportunities, the climbers will have three and two other days are set to be very mixed between a possible GC fight, aswell as puncheurs and breakaway specialists to fight for wins.
PREVIEW | Volta a Catalunya 2023 - Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel's final pre-Giro battle. Landa, Yates, Almeida, Hindley and Carapaz promise climbing showdown
Stage one to Sant Feliu de Guíxols will be a loop, with the coastal town receiving the start of the Catalan event. It is a tricky day, one that is designed for the sprinters, however those who are able to climb as it is by far a flat affair. A 5-kilometer climb at 5.3% will make for a tough challenge near the finish, but if that is not enough, the closing kilometers are very rolling themselves and will present a serious challenge for the heavier riders.
PREVIEW | Volta a Catalunya 2023 stage 1 - Bryan Coquard and Ethan Hayter main favourites for opening sprint stage
Stage two will open up the GC fight, with the famous summit finish to Vallter 2000. By some this could be considered the queen stage, but being the first of three summit finishes is likely to see a more conservative race. Still, with the finale at over 2100 meters of altitude, gradients of 7.5% for 11.4 kilometers is enough to make meaningful differences.
PREVIEW | Volta a Catalunya 2023 stage 2 - Roglic and Evenepoel's second battle at 2100-meter high mountain finish
Over the past few years the stage to La Molina has proven to be one of the most frequent. All the riders who've been at the race will know what to expect, it's a tricky mountain stage. It will feature the 18.5-kilometer ascent of the Coll de la Creueta before the final climb. La Molina is split in two, with the first part having 8 kilometers at 6.4%, where attacks are expected. There's a good chance a large group of climbers will pull through though, and instead battle the win out in the final explosive hilltop.
PREVIEW | Volta a Catalunya 2023 stage 3 - Roglic, Evenepoel and Ciccone expected to battle for second consecutive summit finish
Stage four will be fit for the sprinters, although a breakaway could carry significant danger. The start in Llívia is at over 1000 meters of altitude and they will climb La Molina early in the day. From 1700 to less than 200 meters in altitude is a big difference and the speeds will be very high throughout the rest of the day into Sabadell.
PREVIEW | Volta a Catalunya 2023 stage 4
8.4 kilometers at 9%. That is what awaits the riders on the fifth day of racing in Catalunya in what will be the toughest summit finish of the race and perhaps the queen stage. It is a day where the focus will be all about the final climb to Lo Port, where the gradients will tighten and see a fierce battle between the GC riders for success.
PREVIEW | Volta a Catalunya 2023 stage 5
Stage six will be another tricky day, with a lot of rolling roads which may lead to a sprint or a breakaway win. A late attack aswell isn't to be ignored, as the roads into Molins de Rei feature quite a few of small but explosive ascents.
PREVIEW | Volta a Catalunya 2023 stage 6
Finally, the traditional day into Barcelona. A short but intense stage, it will see a climb early in the day where the breakaway should be formed and inside the final circuit it will not be easy to bring things back. There will be six laps of the Montjuic circuit in the capital of the region. The steepest section features 900 meters at 10% and it will be a brutal challenge for all riders seeking to preserve or attack the race.
PREVIEW | Volta a Catalunya 2023 stage 7
Estimated start and finish times for Volta a Catalunya stages:
Stage 1: 13:05 - 17:00CET
Stage 2: 12:50 - 17:00CET
Stage 3: 12:05 - 17:00CET
Stage 4: 12:30 - 17:00CET
Stage 5: 12:25 - 17:00CET
Stage 6: 12:45 - 17:00CET
Stage 7: 10:35 - 14:00CET