Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2021 – Overall Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2021 – Overall Preview

By David Hunter

Usually one of the opening races in the European season, the race now finds itself a new spot in the calendar due to COVID. The race finishes on Sunday, which means riders who are doing Amstel can’t come here, and as it comes straight after the Basque Country it means we line up with a weaker field compared to usual, but that provides a great opportunity for some. Teams have also been permitted to start with nine riders if they want, lots of new names for us to discover.

Stage 1

2721m of climbing means it’s not going to be easy for the pure sprinters, but the run for home is fairly flat meaning we should get some type of sprint.

Stage 2

Standard sprint stage.

Stage 3

The big GC day. The final climb might only be 7.4km at 5%, but the second half of the stage is very challenging with lots of little kickers along the way, and some incredibly narrow roads. This is a tough day in the saddle.

Stage 4

A 14.3km ITT which will help to decide the overall winner.

Stage 5

Another sprint to finish off the race.


Enric Mas – starts as the overwhelming favourite, he really is the standout rider in the field. 2021 hasn’t started very well for the Spaniard, he disappointed in Provence and Catalunya, then he crashed out of GP Indurian, before a top 20 finish in the Basque Country. I would expect him to now be close to his best, no more excuses. Movistar are the strongest team in the race, and he’s the best climber, the pressure is on.

Matt Holmes – the Englishman burst onto the world tour scene at the start of 2020 when he won on Willunga Hill, since then he’s established himself as a breakaway rider. I hope he forgets about that in this race and has a go at the GC. The Queen stage features lots of rolling hills, very reminiscent of his home roads. The TT will be an issue, but the same goes for most climbers.

Remy Rochas – the French climber caught my eye in the 2020 edition of the Sibiu Cycling Tour, where he finished 4th on GC. This year has been okay, he was 3rd in the opening stage of Catalunya, which was an impressive result. This will be a big chance for him to impress in a relatively big race, I hope he takes his chance.

Élie Gesbert – a bad crash at the start of 2020 ruined his whole season, but I’m happy to report that he’s now looking back to his best. 5th place in GP Indurian was a good result, he is now starting to look like his old self. Losing a whole year due to injury couldn’t have been easy for him, hopefully he’s back to his best.

Laurens Huys – another talented youngster who has a chance to impress. The Belgian is a solid climber, but he’ll drop time in the TT. He looked good in the Ardèche Classic, finishing 13th, he should be aiming for a top 10 in this race.

Nelson Oliveira – the TT is great for him, but can he hang tough during the Queen stage? Oliveira can climb very well, and seeing that the Queen stage isn’t too hard he might just have a chance of winning the GC.

Stefan Küng – another TT rider who’ll try and hang with the climbers. Küng isn’t as good in the mountains as Oliveira, I doubt he’ll survive.

Prediction Time

An easy win for Enric Mas, but I’m looking forward to watching the youngsters have fun this week.

David Hunter

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