Volta a Catalunya 2021 – Stage 5 preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Volta a Catalunya 2021 – Stage 5 preview

By David Hunter

La Pobla De Segur > Manresa 200.5km

Another day that suits the breakaway.

The opening 30km of the stage is undulating, then we hit the climb where many will hope the break will form.

Coll de Comiols might only be a cat 3, but it is 7.8km at 5.3%. It’s a perfect launchpad for the early move. The rest of the day is nice and easy, until we get to 34km to go.

Port de Montserrat is a cat 1 climb and is 7.2km at 6.8%. You might remember it from the 2019 Vuelta; it was the stage won by Nikias Arndt. It’s quite a tough climb, but it’s on a big road which makes it seem a little easier than the numbers suggest. The crest comes with 26km to go, but it doesn’t start properly descending until 18km from the end.

Weather

Cloudy sunshine, but temperatures will still reach 20 degrees.

Tactics

Does anyone want to chase the break? Most riders are out of the GC picture, it looks like a breakaway day to me. Movistar are the only team I think might have a small interest in chasing the break, in order to set up a sprint for Valverde. The stage is relatively easy, it is possible to control the day, as long as the break is relatively small.

DS Cycling Mole

Tonight I’m back with Bora – hansgrohe.

What the fuck was that? A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lenny Kämna? Son, let me explain professional cycling to you. If you sit under 2 minutes down on GC you won’t be allowed in the breakaway. Next time you pull your radio out your ear, I’ll pull your chair out the bus and leave it in the middle of the road. Understand?

Now, what about stage 5? Got to be one for the break. Lenny, your punishment is to make sure Schello gets in the break. I don’t care how many energy gels you need to neck, get him in the break. They rest of you hang about Sergeant Wilco and make sure he stays safe. Lenny, you have been warned. Make it count lads, I’ve missed E3 for this.

Contenders

Luis León Sánchez – breakaway hopeful number 1.

Remi Cavagna – breakaway hopeful number 2.

Ide Schelling – breakaway hopeful number 3.

Michael Valgren – breakaway hopeful number 4.

Matej Mohorič – breakaway hopeful number 5, or he might be interested in a reduced sprint if it comes back together.

Alejandro Valverde – it seems like an eternity since he won a race. 2020 was the first year he didn’t register a win since 2003, apart from his ban in 2011. I thought his time at the top level was over, but the last two stages have shown that there’s life in the old dog yet. Movistar haven’t won yet in 2021, this stage is a big chance for them to register a win, but will they commit to racing all day? The other option is to go in the break, but that significantly reduces their chances.

João Almeida – he’s struggled in the last two stages, but this one is much more suited to him. Almeida packs a very fast sprint, if it ends in a reduced bunch kick he’ll be up there challenging Valverde.

Prediction Time

Unless Movistar chase this has to be one for the breakaway. I’ll go for Matej Mohorič, he’s been looking quite good this week.

David Hunter

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4 thoughts on “Volta a Catalunya 2021 – Stage 5 preview

  1. DS cycling mole is the finniest thing I’ve read for a long time! Thaks david :)

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