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Almeida takes over Volta a Catalunya lead as Michael Woods limits losses in time trial

Rohan Dennis earns the chrono victory

Photo by: Sirotti

João Almeida (Portugal/Deceunick-Quick Step), one of the stars of last season’s Giro d’Italia, took over the lead of Spanish WorldTour stage race Volta a Catalunya after Tuesday’s time trial by posting the third fastest time of the day. Ineos Grenadiers’ Rohan Dennis took the day’s flowers, and his team packed five men in the chrono’s top-11 and three in GC top-10. Michael Woods was the best Canadian in 65th.

You can watch the 100th Volta Ciclista a Catalunya at FloBikes.

The Course

The 18.5-km chrono was a rippling affair that went around the west side of Lake Banyoles, with most of the first third of the course uphill, and the main climb 3 km of 3.7 percent.

It was a good day for Deceuninck-Quick Step, as first Czech national time trial champion Josef Černý was atop the leader board with 23:05 before French national champ Rémi Cavagna stopped the clock at 22:32.

On Monday’s first stage, the main GC contenders had finished in a 75-strong bunch 26 seconds behind the winner Andreas Kron. Rohan Dennis of Ineos Grenadiers had finished +2:26 in arrears of Kron, but on Tuesday he clipped Cavagna’s time by five seconds. Ineos also had good performances from Richie Porte and Adam Yates. Of the GC bunch, João Almeida was the best, posting 22:55, with Steven Kruijswijk–who recently extended with Jumbo-Visma for two more years–five seconds slower.

Almeida nearly catches Robert Power, who started two minutes before, at the line.

Michael Woods was looking to limit his losses, as time trialing isn’t his forte. He would finish +1:43 to Dennis.

Woods in the start house.

Wednesday is the queen stage, the first of two consecutive days with HC-rated summit finishes.

2021 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya Stage 2
1) Rohan Dennis (Australia/Ineos Grenadiers) 22:27
2) Rémi Cavagna (France/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0:05
3) João Almeida (Portugal/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0:28
65) Michael Woods (Canada/Israel Start-up Nation) +1:43
106) Nick Zukowsky (Canada/Rally) +2:19
114) Rob Britton (Canada/Rally) +2:26
118) Alex Cataford (Canada/Israel Start-up Nation) +2:31
128) Antoine Duchesne (Canada/Groupama-FDJ) +2:48

2021 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya GC
1) João Almeida (Portugal/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +4:43
2) Brandon McNulty (USA/UAE-Emirates) s.t.
3) LL Sanchez (Spain/Astana-Premier Tech) +0:03
4) Steven Kruijswijk (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) +0:05
52) Michael Woods (Canada/Israel Start-up Nation) +1:15
85) Rob Britton (Canada/Rally) +7:17
123) Alex Cataford (Canada/Israel Start-up Nation) +12:55
144) Nick Zukowsky (Canada/Rally) +16:09
149) Antoine Duchesne (Canada/Groupama-FDJ) +16:38