There was a mouthwatering array of talent, both established stars and up-and-comers, to contest the 97th edition of the Volta a Catalunya, which featured some fine racing along with time-penalties, trolling, a snow-shortened stage, echelons, Merckx-like time gaps and over 40 riders outside the time limit. Despite this, Alejandro Valverde sensationally soloed to victory in Friday’s queen stage for the overall lead and won the final stage to take his second title, ahead of this and last year’s runner-up, Alberto Contador, and his third-placed Movistar teammate Marc Soler.
It’s the Tour de Suisse and, as usual, we’ve enjoyed beautiful scenery, a variety of stage winners and leader’s jersey wearers, riders scrapping to secure their Tour de France slots, yet more Peter Sagan stage wins and, more importantly, a hard-fought nip-and-tuck battle for the overall win (for the second time) by Simon Spilak. After steadily gaining ground in the days leading up to Friday’s queen stage, he struck out solo with 8km remaining to take both stage victory and the leader’s jersey with nearly a minute’s advantage, which he held over the next two stages. Damiano Caruso, who wore the leader’s jersey for two days, and Steven Kruijswijk rounded out the final podium.