This Easter weekend, 25 – 27 March, the Spanish Catalan Hills will host the 3 day UCI category 2 Volcat GP. This year the town of Igualada will host all 3 stages making it logistically easier for participants. Whilst the Elite race competes for UCI points as individuals the open race is run as a pair’s event.
The first stage will be 55 kilometres with ascent of 1400 meters. The 2016 queen stage will consist of 80 kilometres and 2700 vertical meters. The final stage will be a less difficult route with 42km and 950 vertical meters. At the end of the 173 kilometres, the top 20 riders in the men’s competition and the top 10 in the women’s competition will participate in a pro sprint elimination race.
The race promises rough steep climbs and descents, long technical trails, some hike a bike (!) and amazing landscape.
With the next few months seeing the final push for Olympic qualification points the competition is extra high at this early point in the year. This has allowed the event to secure Spanish TV coverage; hopefully they’ll be some highlights on the internet we can share.
This year will see 700 participants from 15 different countries race the Volcat GP. The entry list is topped by Portuguese rider Tiago Ferreira, who won the last three editions, and Greek Periklis Ilias. It will be interesting to see how the go with such limited recovery time from last week’s Cape Epic. Other names include Italian Marzio Deho and the Colombian Hector Paez. In the women’s, Claudia Galicia will try to improve her position of second in 2015. The BUFF Pro Team, Belgium Cycling Team and Scott Taymory Racing Team are also in attendance.
Hopefully myself and fellow Brit, George Budd can get in the mix. Wifi dependant we’ll try to bring you updates throughout the event.