Groves Wins Stage 4 at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
Thursday’s stage 4 of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2023 took the Volta a Catalunya peloton southwards on a down-from-the-mountains route from LLivia to Sabadell in Catalonia. The 188.2-kilometer route featured a category 1 climb that was contested shortly after the start and as the riders descended from the high mountain territory on their way to Sabadell, the route featured two short category 2 challenges.
After several failed attacks from a multitude of riders, a five-man breakaway group was formed early in the stage. The quintet featured Nans Peters (AG2R-Citroen), Christopher Juul-Jensen (Team Jayco-Alula), Torstein Træen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Roger Adria (Equipo Kern Pharma), and Astana-Qazaqstan’s David de la Cruz.
The group established a lead that had been reduced to two minutes and thirty-two seconds 72 kilometers from the finish primarily because of hard work from Team Cofidis and Ineos-Grenadiers riders doing hard work at the front of the peloton.
Fifty kilometers from the finish the advantage of the front group had been reduced to two minutes as the riders passed through Moia. Twenty kilometers later the lead had been further minimized to one minute and four seconds.
As the riders closed further in on the finish town of Sabadell, located near Barcelona, the sprinter teams had joined Ineos-Grenadiers and Cofidis at the front of the peloton as they started sensing the opportunity of the sprint finale that would arise if the breakaway hopefuls were caught.
Six kilometers from the finish the front group were still fighting for the stage win, though only a few seconds ahead of the eagerly chasing peloton.
3.9 kilometers from the finish the final breakaway riders were caught and the peloton started setting up their sprint aces for a sprint across the finish line.
Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Kaden Groves used a powerful bike throw to reach the finish line first. Bryan Coquard finished second for his Cofidis team, while Corbin Strong took third for Team Israel-Premiertech. Ide Schelling finished fourth for Bora-Hansgrohe.
In the general classification Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) leads the Tour of Catalonia, though in the same time as second ranked Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep), while Giulio Ciccone is nineteen seconds behind in third place. Mikel Landa is fourth for Bahrain-Victorious and Joao Almeida is in fifth for UAE Team Emirates.
Tomorrow’s stage 5 will be 176.6 kilometers long and takes the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya peloton from Tortosa to Mirador del Portell / Lo Port. The stage concludes with a strenuous Hors Category climb featuring an average gradient of 8.8 percent. We predict the stage finale will be dominated by the general classification favorites, including Primoz Roglic and Remco Envenepoel, although it would be appreciated to see a talented climber animate the race by winning the stage from a breakaway.
Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com for additional coverage from Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2023.