Hard prelude to the Pyrenees
25 March 2014

Volta a Catalunya (st. 2)

Nairo Quintana, Movistar Team riders suffer rain and cold in day prior to first contact with mountains, weather set to play a significant role

During the second half of the 168km stage two of the 2014 Volta a Catalunya, from Mataró to Girona, the bunch was treated with bad weather they weren’t used to, following an exceptionally clement start of the season. The day’s early, six-man breakaway -whose last survivor was the famous Frenchman Thomas Voeckler (EUC)- was caught into the final 10k, the peloton not letting them grow a massive gap and secure another bunch sprint, won by race leader Luka Mezgec (GIA).

It was a day of keeping focus and serenity for both Nairo Quintana and his Movistar team-mates, in the eve of two mountainous days set to define the GC outcome… should the weather not avoid it. After a technical meeting following Tuesday’s stage, in view of the snow and strong wind forecast prior to Wednesday’s ride through the Cadí-Moixeró in the Pyrenées, the route of day three will remain unchanged. Thus, it will be a 163km trek from Banyoles to the Cat-1 Alt de La Molina in Alp, previously ascending the Alt de Coubet (Cat-1) and the Alt de La Creueta (HC.)


Wednesday, March 26: Banyoles – La Molina (162.9km)
31km: Alt de Coubet (Cat-1) – 10km / 5.5%
78km: Alt de la Creueta (HC) – 21km / 4.5% 
157km: Alt de la Molina (Cat-1) – 5.3km / 6% 

Thursday, March 27: Alp – Vallter 2000 (166km)
2km: Collada de Toses (Cat-2) – 19km / 3.8% 
59km: Alt de Canes (Cat-2) – 16km / 3% 
106km: Alt de Oix (Cat-1) – 7.7km / 5.3%
132km: Alt de Rocabruna (Cat-1) – 7.5km / 5.6%
154km: Vallter 2000 (HC) – 12km / 7.8% 

Pictures (c): Oriol Trasserra + Pacu Pine / Twitter