BORA hansgrohe German Professional CyclingBand of Brothers

Aleks Vlasov on GC podium at the halfway point of the Volta Catalunya

Stage 1

The opening of Spain's oldest stage race ended with an uphill sprint. As in previous years, the uphill finishing straight in Sant Feliu de Guíxols was the backdrop for the first battle of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. Nick Schulz surprised the peloton with an attack on the final kilometer. Sergio Higuita opened the sprint of the chasers at the 500-meter mark. 200 meters later, the favorites caught up with him. Aleks Vlasov crossed the  line in 8th place - Sergio Higuita followed in 11th place.


DS Christian Pömer

We got through the hectic day well. We wanted to get Aleks safely into the final and support Sergio for the uphill sprint. Sergio made the best of the situation and decided to open the sprint early. Unfortunately, it didn't work out, but his attack also helped Aleks to be in a good position ahead of the two mountain top finishes.


Stage 2

On the very second day, a mountain top finish in the Pyrenees was on the program and brought an early preliminary GC decision. It was a race day with two sides. The first half was completely flat and led from the coastal town of Matar to the cycling hotspot of Girona in almost summer-like conditions. 


From there, the second half of the day was a steady climb towards the high mountains. The final ascent to Vallter 2000 is already challenging - and it didn't get any easier with the bad weather that set in. In pouring rain and cold temperatures, the favorites engaged in the expected fight for the win. Tadej Pogacar attacked 6.5 kilometers before the finish and rode to a solo victory. Aleks Vlasov neutralized many attacks from the chasers and was able to break away with Mikel Landa shortly before the finish. After a good starting position on the first day, Vlasov improved his overall position and moved to the podium with a cushion of almost 20 seconds.


DS Christian Pömer

"We were aiming for a podium finish in the GC and it was clear that today would lay the foundation for this. Accordingly, we concentrated on the final climb with Aleks and wanted to build up a time gap to the chasers as well. Aleks did a fantastic job. That was the first step and now it's all about consolidating this position. Two mountain top finishes in a row - it's the very next day when the GC riders will be tested again."


Aleks Vlasov

"It was a pretty cold and rainy final. The race went well, we stayed together, and the guys positioned me very well. The final climb was just about the legs. When Tadej went it was a super-high rhythm and nobody could follow him. I had good feelings, and the legs were alright. The result is OK and tomorrow will be another hard day."


Stage 3

Two mountain top finishes in a row - climbing to 2,000 meters twice: the third stage was also designed for the GC riders. With 18.7 kilometers, the final climb to Port Ainé was significantly longer than the day before, but more rhythmic and less steep. Once again, Pogacar broke away at his new favorite marker around 7 kilometers before the finish and reached the finish with a clear lead. Aleks Vlasov crossed the line in sixth place. As a result, he was not only able to defend his third place in the overall standings, but also slightly extend his lead over the chasers thanks to important bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint.


DS Christian Pömer

"40 riders were still in the GC in the first 4 minutes - that's why the start of the stage was tough. It took a while for a group to get away and even after that the pace remained high. We stayed together as a team and had enough helpers with Aleks both on the climb to the middle of the stage and for the final climb. There, Sergio implemented our plan of securing the podium for Aleks and ideally saving energy for the next difficult stages very well. Aleks secured 3 valuable bonus seconds on the way and thus extended his lead."