2022 Volta Catalunya Stage 6 Preview

Salou > Cambrils 169km

A great looking stage for the breakaway, especially when you consider the race situation. We have two fast sprinters left in the race, Bauhaus and Groves, both of whom don’t have many teammates to chase on the front. The early cat 1 climb is very hard, the quick men will struggle and lose a fair amount of time, which will be almost impossible to make back up. The whole peloton will know this is a day for the breakaway, which means the pace on the first climb will be hard, we might even see someone relatively high on GC gamble and jump in the move. With 26 riders within 4 minutes of the race lead, we could see some unpopular riders make the move, which will result in the peloton having to chase. 

Weather

A bit on the grey side, but it should stay dry.

Early Climb

A proper effort, nearly 6% for 10.3km. The climb starts 30km into the race, it’s likely we’ll see teams hold the race together, so the break goes on the hill.

Tactics

I don’t think the intermediate sprints will come into play during this stage, the first one is too far into the day for Arkéa to think about chasing it. It’s likely we’ll see a big fight for the breakaway on the first climb, but UAE will be watching very carefully due to the number of riders still relatively close on GC. They have a very strong team; it would be suicide for a GC guy to try and get in the move.

Once the break goes, if it doesn’t feature a GC threat, it will go the whole way. The start is too hard for the fast men, and the sprint teams don’t have many riders to chase all day. If it does contain a GC threat, it will be chased down, which opens the door for a late attack. Whatever happens in this stage, a sprint is unlikely.

Contenders

Quentin Pacher – form is good, and he packs a fast sprint. If he gets in the break, he’s got a great chance of netting his first pro win.

Bruno Armirail – he’s been looking very strong in this race; he’ll be one of the men very keen on getting in the morning break. Similar to Pacher, he’s never won a pro race, this is a great chance to land a big one.

Jesús Herrada – breakaway royalty, the Spaniard is a master in the medium mountains. He’ll have marked this stage long before the race, expect to see him in the break.

Damien Howson – he’s been climbing very well, and he’ll have freedom to chase some rare personal glory. Doesn’t have much of a sprint, so he needs to go long.

Andrea Bagioli – go for the break or hope it ends in a sprint? The Italian has a decision to make.

Marc Soler – it doesn’t matter the race situation; he just keeps attacking. UAE might decide to have an easy day but try telling Marc Soler that!

Simon Clarke – I’ve been very impressed by him this season, signing for Israel – Premier Tech has given him a new lease of life. He’ll go for the break, and he has the experience required to sniff out the right move.

Dries Devenyns – I love Dries Devenyns! After taking the win today, QuickStep will be full of confidence and looking to take another win.

Daryl Impey – if a GC threat makes the break, UAE will ride it down. If the stage somehow ends in a sprint, Impey will likely be one of the fastest left in the peloton.

Mads Würtz Schmidt – form is good, but the opening climb could be a little hard for him. He’ll hope the pace isn’t crazy, allowing him to jump in the move. If he does make the front group, he can win solo or from a sprint.

Rui Costa – just like Soler, it depends on how UAE approach the stage. Will they simply look to defend the jersey?

Hugh Carthy – he’s been looking to attack in previous stages, he’ll love the opening climb.

Rohan Dennis – brilliant in Paris-Nice and he’s free to attack tomorrow.

Prediction Time

I can’t see anything else than a breakaway win. The fight to make the move will be fierce, I expect a strong group getting up the road and Jesús Herrada getting the win.

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