The UCI World Tour moves to Spain this coming week as the Volta a Catalunya gets underway tomorrow and finishes in Barcelona on Sunday after 7 tough days of racing. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka have a versatile team gunning for stage wins at this, the 97th edition of Volta a Catalunya.
There will not be a single flat or easy day during the Volta a Catalunya as even the stage 2 team time trial presents a significant amount of climbing. Stage 5 is the only summit finish stage though, where riders will tackle the 20km climb to finish in Lo Port. It will be on these two stages, stage 2 & 5, where the Volta a Catalunya will be won but it could certainly lost on any of of the other stages for the GC contenders.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will primarily be on the hunt for stages in Catalunya but come Friday’s tough stage to Lo Port, our African Team will certainly see what is possible. While Nathan Haas has never done the race before, his European base is in Girona and so the Volta a Catalunya will feel like somewhat of a home race for the Aussie. Lachlan Morton also makes his return to racing for our African Team and he will be one to watch throughout the week.
For those small group sprint stages, Kristian Sbaragli will be our go to rider. The rest of our African Team will be completed by our host of climbers, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Natnael Berhane, Daniel Teklehaimanot, Mekseb Debesay and Ben O’Connor.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
For Volta a Catalunya we have mostly a climbers team but also with a fast option in Kristian Sbaragli who can also climb well for the medium stages, similarly to Nathan. It is a race with a lot of climbing so I think it is a race we must be rather offensive in. When you see the level of the top favourites like Froome, Valverde and Zakarin it will be very difficult to achieve a GC spot so we must go through the stages and go for a win there. If we can collect anything else while fighting for stages, like the Mountains jersey or Sprinters jersey we will try to get that. There are a lot of opportunities for breakaway’s and so that is where we are looking to take our chances.