The UCI World Tour heads to Catalunya next week, with the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya taking place between 19 and 25 March. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will send a strong climber focused group to the 7 stage UCI World Tour event.
Not a single flat stage will be on offer during the 98th edition of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya next week. 2 stages will feature big summit finishes (Stage 3 & 4) while the remaining stages all include a significant amount of climbing, most with a catgorised climb in the final 40km of the stage. The final stage will see the race come to an end with the familiar hilly circuit around Barcelona.
The tough parcour will make it a difficult race to control or predict, but our African Team will start with a strong group of climbers led by our South African, Louis Meintjes. Meintjes starts in Catalunya after completing Tirreno-Adriatico last Sunday and the South African already expressed then, his hope to race for a result at Volta Catalunya. Steve Cummings will also line-up in Catalunya, but not before a hopefully successful outing at Milano-Sanremo in Italy, on Saturday.
Meintjes and Cummings will be joined by the climbing group of Merhawi Kudus, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Natnael Berhane, Igor Anton and Ben O’Connor.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
Every year this is a tough race for two reasons. Firstly, the course is difficult and secondly, the amount of grand tour GC riders coming here each year. There is no exception this year, a lot of good riders for GC will start again this year. We have two goals for this race. To continue building the shape of Louis Meintjes and of the riders around him, heading to the Giro d’Italia. Our other goal will be to end with a top 10 on GC with Louis, it will be a good result and a confidence booster. If there are any options for a stage win, and to be in the breaks, we will try to take those opportunities with the other guys.