Saturday’s penultimate stage of the Volta a Catalunya will be drastically shortened because of snow in the Pyrenees. The stage was due to climb from 975 metres in the start town of Vielha to a second category pass 1,390 metres above sea-level in the first 10 kilometres of the stage. However, snow is falling hard in the area and it was decided to reduce the stage in length.
The stage, which runs in an almost a straight line south from Friday’s stage finish in Vielha, and out of the Pyrenees towards central Catalunya, will be reduced from 194 kilometres to 117, starting in Pobla de Segur and finishing as planned in Torrefarera. The number of second category climbs on the stage is therefore cut, too, from three to one.
As announced on the Volta’s official Twitter account, the stage will now start at 14:30 local time.
Stage 3 of this year’s Volta a Catalunya was already drastically altered because of bad weather, with the final ascent of Vallter 2000, set to be the first and hardest summit finish of the race, removed because of the risk of avalanches.
These weather-related changes are far from the first in the Volta a Catalunya since it switched dates from June to March. Last year, one stage starting in the Pyrenees was also reduced in length because of snowfalls.