- - Volta a Catalunya 2023 Stage 1

Volta a Catalunya 2023 Stage 1

photo credits @ VaC

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) edged-out Remco Evenepoel (Soudal–Quick-Step) in an uphill drag race to win stage 1 of the Volta a Catalunya, although his win was overshadowed by a nasty crash in the closing moments. 

Roglic, who arrived in north-east Spain on the back of victory at Tirreno-Adriatico, took advantage after Jumbo team-mates Steven Kruijswijk and Tobias Foss had ramped up the pace on the final circuit to weed out the fast men.

It was a thrilling showdown between the two favorites for the Giro d’Italia in May, but a crash with 5.5km remaining will attract attention after six riders were left on the floor.

Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates), Dario Cataldo (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ), Kristian Sbaragli (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Anthony Delaplace (Arkea Samsic) were among those to hit the deck after a scary cascade effect in the peloton, just minutes after the remnants of the day’s breakaway had been hoovered up.

Cataldo sustained multiple fractures as a result of the crash and was taken to hospital.

A statement from Trek-Segafredo said: “A CT scan performed at the hospital revealed that Dario has sustained a fractured left femoral head & right acetabulum (the ‘ball & socket’ joint of the hip), two transverse process fractures of the lumbar spine without neurological impact, multiple broken ribs with a collapsed lung on both sides and a fractured left collarbone.

“He is conscious and hemodynamically stable and will be transferred to another hospital in Catalunya in the first instance. After a second assessment at the new hospital in Girona, he will undergo surgery to fix the femur fracture.”

Storer, Sbaragli and Delaplace all finished the stage around nine minutes after Roglic having suffered varying degrees of injuries.

Former Volta Ciclista a Catalunya champion Yates came in 10 minutes and 35 seconds behind Roglic.

A statement from UAE Team Emirates said: “Unfortunately Adam Yates was caught up in a crash in the final kilometres, but thankfully escaped with abrasions and could finish the stage.”

Roglic was first to launch his sprint in a lively finale, holding on for victory as the fast-finishing Evenepoel slapped his handlebars in frustration.

“You always wish the best, the thing is when you need to do it. The guys did a great job and I just had enough in the legs at the end,” said Roglic.

“It’s just day one, there’s some super hard days to come so we will see how we go day by day.”

Roglic leads Evenepoel in the general classification by four seconds courtesy of time bonuses. Ide Schelling (Bora-hansgrohe) is third at six seconds.

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