Volta a Catalunya 2023 preview for Velogames accounts for a spectacular week of racing starting from Monday 20th March 2023. Be sure to have your teams locked in by 12;45 CET in a race that promised to be a feast for the climbers. Fast finishes might also have a chance in one or two stages as could breakaways, puncheurs or classic riders.
Volta a Catalunya 2022
Ethan Vernon introduced himself to the cycling world by outsprinting everyone on stage 5, while Kaden Groves won the other flat finish on Stage 3. Michael Matthews and Andrea Baglioli won the opening and final stage respectively, both after capable of surviving short climbs. The general classification battle started with Ineos Grenadiers as favourite with Richard Carapaz. Ben O’Connor leapt to victory in a cold rainy stage 3. Joao Almeida showed his strength on stage 4 and was on par with Nairo Quintana. Team UAE again displayed some questionable tactics regarding co-leadership and let the overall win slip by allowing Richard Carapaz and Sergio Higuita go away on the penultimate stage mountain top finish.
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Volta a Catalunya 2022 velogames
Best possible @velogames team for #VoltaCatalunya101:— Calum Lonie 🇮🇪🇨🇵🇪🇺 (@CalumLonie) March 27, 2022
Tobias Halland Johannessen
5321 points, 100 credits
Amidst a top riders list where Simon Yates at 20 credits subsequently abandoned, Richard Carapaz and Nairo Quintana both at 18, Joao Almeida at 16, Ben O’connor at 12 and Sergio Higuita at 10 and Juan Ayuso made it a combination of stage winners and high placed finishers and final top 6 must have. Tobias Halland Johannessen finished 7th at the end and brought in 432 points. Finally spring stage winners Kaden Groves cost 8 points and brought 447 points, while Ethan Vernon was selected by 0.0% of players and brought in 267 poinys for just 4 points.
It is noteworthy to add that only 85 riders out of 158 finish the race amidst bad weather, crashes and sickness!
Volta a Catalunya 2023 preview
The 6.1km climb at 4.6% tops up with 25 km to go. This is could put some sprinters in difficulty but there are not a lot of heavy sprinters present at the start of this race. A sprint finish is expected.
Masks off, 2 successive climbs with both of more 10.8 km should make the affairs of the best pure climbers such as Mikel Landa.
Another long day spent climbing with no strong teams willing to take things under control, a break away with a combination of strong riders could get away. But it is unlikely to happen with another big day for the climbers and general contenders expected.
This one should play out for the sprinters. But how many of them would be left and how confident are they. This could definitely sneak out to the breakaway if the catch is not perfectly timed.
A relatively flat today until the riders hit a mountainl. The final climbs with 8.4km at 8.4% will be terrible. Another day for climbers and general contenders.
This could have been the day for sprinters or breakaway, but 2.2km at 8.6% make it an uncertain race with many scenarios possible. A single rider or 2 could ride hard on the final climbs and the fly into the descent. Watch out for Soudal Quick Step riding it very hard through out the day for Remco to put some Liege Bastogne Liege 2022 spirited mood here. Late Attack.
The final is a traditional stage in Barcelona with a much classic type look alike parcours! Again, watch out for Remco Evenepoel after a hard day.
Volta a Catalunya 2023 Velogames.
The high priced riders: (24,26)
- Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) 26: He made a very noisy return to cycling at Tirreno Adriatico after his shoulder injury. He was simply unbeatable on short climbs and benefited from a strong headwind on the queen stage. He might have looked to be the best one but we really are not sure about his training plan and races.. Yet he is Roglic, he always has a plan and never step back from challenges or disappoint. Unless he crashes.
- Remco Evenepoel (Soudal – Quick Step) 24: while he did win the UAE tour, most credit should be given for his team riding in the winds and the time-trial. He neverthelss only lost 10 seconds to Adam Yates over a 10 km climb and looked in control all the time. The Belgian is also back from an altitude camp with most of his team present here. He will be climbing better than in UAE. A time-trial would only have been a bonus here.
- Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) 18: one of the best climbers here, he is part of Team UAE Emirates co-leadership with Joao Almeida will be chaotic. Valued at 18, a Yates can still not be trusted in Velogames particularly with the other options available
- Mikel Landa (Bahrain – Victorious)16: Bahrain-Victorious is going to back this man up this season. He has looked as good and comfortable as ever since the start of the season. He will always be among the best on the 3 mountains stages. The nature and aggressiveness required for the last 2 stage might lose him the general win but still an obvious velogames pick for me.
- Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) 16: Finally starting his season, he will be happy with his new team but being able to climb and challenge the best here would be truly too exceptional.
- João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) 16: The emotions that his guy brings to his fans will make it an obvious pick for them. He seems to have sorted out his climbing, his time trialing is good again and he is climbing better. Would again be an obvious pick only if Team UAE Emirates tactics would be obvious as well.
14 points riders
- Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën Team) 14: A Gastro-Enteritis affected his Tirreno Adriatico where he still managed to finish 13th after a promising time-trial.
- Jai Hindley (BORA – hansgrohe) 14: His performance at Tirreno is hard to dwell upon. He did have a good time- trial finish in the front group of both top finishes, but his team clearly had a plan to work for Kamna
- Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 14: While it is really nice to see him back, an anonymous performance would no be a greater surprise than a good performance such is the talent of the Colombian.
- Geraint Thomas ( INEOS Grenadiers) 14: His season start was disturbed by some disease, now that the Giro is less than 6 weeks away, he should be in better shape. Can he drop Landa on the climbs? no.
- Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 14:After suffering in Paris-Nice, he stated that he was battered by the difference between him and the best men. There is no Pogacar to traumatize riders here, an opportunity for him to build back some confidence.
- Giulio Ciccone (Trek – Segafredo) 14: It has been a very long time since we have not seen the Italian at this level. He seems to be enjoying himself and is always well placed. He was probably the best climber on the shorter climbs in Valenciana and Tirreno-Adriatico, but here the climbs are longer and he just needs to confirm he can hold on.
- Jack Haig (Bahrain – Victorious) 12: Predicted to be the leader of his team at the Giro, his performances so far this season has been good but he has not been as good as his team mates, Landa and even Mader.
- Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) 12: He keeps refusing to qualify himself as a sprinter, avoids bunch sprints. A lot of expectations has been placed over him after his ground breaking performances last year. Interestingly, he has lots of potential stage wins here. Stage 1,4,6 and 7 all suits him. Surely, his from has not been exceptional this year, but he needs to be considered even with a price tag of 12.
- Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 10: Another sprinter who should not be having issues getting over the obstacle on the sprint stages. Except for a 3rd place at the opening Schwalbe classics, good results has been evading him so far this season.
- Gino Mäder (Bahrain – Victorious) 10: The Swiss alternates promising performances with deceiving one. He was great at Paris-Nice finishing 6th. Yet while he was able to follow and drop Vingegaard on the first mountain top finish, he was unable to follow him on the next mountain stages. It is not sure how he will handle 2 consecutive mountain top finishes. He could lose time on purpose and play a stage win from the break.
- Cian Uijtdebroeks (BORA – hansgrohe) 10: The next big talent of the peloton’s rise has been steadily and he should be here to support Hindley.
- Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 10: Disappointing in Tirreno Adriatico
- Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost) 10: No great form shown so far this season except for his national title. He will be aiming for a stage win.
- Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost_ 10: His current condition is unknown.
- Michael Storer (Groupama – FDJ) 10: No good form shown yet for who is the potential leader of the team here.
- Luke Plapp (INEOS Grenadiers) 10: After a reassuring UAE tour, he could be given the leadership of the team with a recovering trio of Bernal, Thomas and Tullett.
- Louis Meintjes (Intermarché – Circus – Wanty) 10: A master of playing his way into top 10 GC finishers from break aways. Disappointing form at UAE tour.
- Dylan Teuns (Israel – Premier)Tech 10: A strong contender for the last 2 stages. Might be working for Corbin Strong in the sprints
- Michael Woods( Israel – Premier Tech) 10: He is only starting to build himself back and did not believe in his own chances. But he could surprise on Stage 4. 8km at steep gradients are his things.
- Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 10: He will be having good days on the mountain. His own ambition however rest on Roglic’s condition as we go higher.
- Iván Ramiro Sosa (Movistar Team) 10: The light climber will be aiming for a stage win rather than the general.
- Carlos Verona (Movistar Team) 10: He will try to stay with the elites on the first mountain stage. Should he not feel it, stage hunting will be his aim for the next days.
- Jan Hirt Soudal / Ilan Van Wilder (Soudal – Quick Step) 10: None will have their own chances as they are expected to work very hard for Remco.
- Rafał Majka / Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) 10: There is way too much qualities an leadership with in that team! Both will be prefering on working onto form and could aim for stages.
- Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) 10: The former winner of the Tour de L’avenir confirmed his potential when he finished 7th here last year. This year, he acknowledges to having some physical issue causing him to withdraw on Volta a Algarve stage 3 and not going to Paris- Nice.
8 credits riders
- Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën Team) 8: Expert climber who will be aiming for a stage win above most. He is expected to be Ben O’Connor last line of protection
- Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) 8: The Tour Down Under 2023 showed that he has transited from a rider who excels on uphill finishes to one who actually get over short climbs. Stage 1, 4,6 and 7 should all be his to contend and this places his team as one of those ready to chase breakaways for a sprint finishes
- Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) 8: He did have a good season start in Oman and O Gran Camino but these are longer climbs and another whole field of opponents
- Rune Herregodts (Intermarché – Circus – Wanty ) 8: Punchy rider who might enjoy stage 6 and 7
- Rein Taaramäe ( Intermarché – Circus – Wanty ) 8: No good form shown yet.
- Corbin Strong (Israel – Premier Tech) 8: With no apparent out to out sprinters here, he might be given the nod ahead of Dylan Teuns in bunch sprints while also be allowed to chase his own chances in the last 2 stages.
- Andreas Kron (Lotto Dstny) 8: While he did impressed in Andalucia, he is at his best on shorter climbs and there are 2 stages worth mentioning for a stage win for him. 6 and 7
- Maxim Van Gils ( Lotto Dstny ) 8: Will also be showing off his punchy talents on the last 2 days
- Antonio Pedrero /Einer Augusto Rubio (Movistar Team) 8: Both are excellent climbers who could pull off stage wins.
- Hugo Hofstetter (Team Arkéa Samsic) 8: Just like Bryan Coquard, his team will be riding for him to win stages this week. He can get over short climbs but not as comfortably as Bryan Coquard.
- Oscar Onley (Team DSM) 8: At 20 years old, he is here to build his experience. He might just make it for Stage 4 while 8km might alot also prove to be a tad too long.
- Jon Aberasturi (Trek – Segafredo) 8: Trek Segafredo designated sprinter.
- Juan Pedro López (Trek – Segafredo) 8:Comeback race for the Spanish after a training crash. Will be here to work for Ciccone.
- Quinn Simmons (Trek – Segafredo) 8: A serious option to consider as he will be protecting Ciccone in the mountains and leading out Aberasturi for sprints.Potential assists points. And on hilly stages such as stage 4 ad 6, he will go for the break himself fully confident of winning while also being a strong contender for stage 7.
6 Credits riders
- Clément Berthet ,Felix Gall, Dorian Godon, Nans Peters (AG2R Citroën Team) 6: This is group of mercenaries climbers. Baroudeurs by nature,, they will take turn into going in to breakaways and protecting O’connor.
- Clément Venturini (AG2R Citroën Team ) 6: Also a baroudeur, the French CX champion also gives a sprinting option to the team
- Kristian Sbaragli ( Alpecin-Deceuninck ) 6 : sprinter option number 2 after Kaden Groves.
- Matteo Fabbro , Ide Schelling (BORA – hansgrohe) 6: They will have the freedom to do what they love doing best. getting in breakaways and resisting to the bit.
- Victor Langellotti (Burgos-BH) 6: A very interesing 6 credit options. He is a rider with great punchy styles who can sprint fairly. This season he has improved his climbing featuring in top 10 finishes in Oman and O Gran Camino. He also have the experience of going into a successful break away in the Vuelta.
- Jefferson Alveiro Cepeda (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) 6 : Finished 15 in Andalucia
- Eduard Prades (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA ) 6 : Has not been bunch sprinting recently.
- Jonathan Klever Caicedo, Simon Carr, ( EF Education-EasyPost ),Roger Adrià (Equipo Kern Pharma) ,Francisco Galván (Equipo Kern Pharma), Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel – Euskadi ) : All of them are riders who showed potential of holding on to elite climbers group in recent years. They could either hold and fight for top 20 spots or go into break aways
- Lenny Martinez ( Groupama – FDJ) 6 : We are going to discover this hight tipped for greatness 19 year old French. This is is his first ace at this level and no big expectation other than finishing is on him.
- Ben Tulett (INEOS Grenadiers) 6 : Back after crash
- Arne Marit (Intermarché – Circus – Wanty ) 6: Definite and only sprinter for the team
- Milan Menten , Rüdiger Selig ( Lotto Dstny) 6: Unsure of which one Lotto-DSTNY will work for a sprint but Menten is more likely to hold on to the tricky bumps on stage 1 ,4 and 6.
- Sylvain Moniquet ,(Lotto Dstny ) 6: Great punchy finisher who will be aiming for a breakaway.
- José Joaquín Rojas ( Movistar Team) 6: Another sprinter is a sea of climbers. He “co-sprinted’ regularly on these type of stages in Valenciana with team mates Aranburu and Ivan Garcia Cortina.
- Romain Combaud ,Martijn Tusveld (Team DSM 6): Both represents the best sprint options for Team Dsm and it will be down to whoever is still present.
- Kenny Elissonde Trek – Segafredo 6 : will be working for Ciccone. Will also be trying his luck in Break away.
- Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) 6 : fought his way to the KOM Paris Nice jersey. Vaillantly!
- Torstein Træen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) 6 : Another figher who finished 14th in Valenciana.
4 point gems
- José Manuel( Díaz Burgos-BH) 4 : 16th at Andalucia following a great breakaway day with Wellens
- Xabier Mikel Azparren ( Euskaltel – Euskadi) 4 : 4 Breakaways in the Vuelta 2021 and 3 in 2022
- Ibai Azurmendi ( Euskaltel – Euskadi ) 4 : 1 breakaway in 2022
- Mikel Iturria (Euskaltel – Euskadi )4 : 3 breakaways in last Vuelta and 2 in 2021.
- Tsgabu Grmay (Team Jayco AlUla)4 : A very impressive 14th place in Andalucia following a more than decent week being able to follow the best risers. 3rd best 4 credit rider of the race. Will be free here.
- Callum Scotson (Team Jayco AlUla ) 4: Perhaps the best 4 coins options available here. With regular climbing performances both at Valenciana and UAE tour.