The 2012 edition of the Tour of Catalonia – or the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, if you’re a local – runs from March 19-25 in eastern Spain.
The seven-day WorldTour race offers an alternative to the spring classics in northern Europe. Since a date change from May to March in 2010, the race has attracted Grand Tour contenders warming up for the Giro d’Italia.
Last year’s result was settled in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland in February, when Alberto Contador was handed a back-dated suspension for failing a test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France. His win in the 2011 Tour of Catalonia was subsequently annulled and handed to runner-up, Italian Michele Scarponi.
Bradley Wiggins (Sky) is Britain’s sole representative in the 2012 race, fresh from winning Paris-Nice earlier this month. The last and only Briton to win the Tour of Catalonia was Robert Millar in 1985.
With no time trial in this year’s edition, the route plays firmly into the hands of the climbers.
Wednesday’s stage three from La Vall d’en Bas to Port-Ainé is likely to dictate the top order of the race overall. The day’s four climbs, two of which are hors categorie, should force a selection among the front runners.
On this page you’ll find links to all of Cycling Weekly’s online coverage of the 2012 Tour of Catalonia, updated daily during the race with the latest news, reports and photos.
Tour of Catalonia 2012: Stages
Stage one, Monday March 19, Calella to Calella, 138km
Stage two, Tuesday March 20, Girona to Girona, 161km
Stage three, Wednesday March 21, La Vall d’en Bas (Sant Esteve d’en Bas) to Port-Ainé, 210.9km
Stage four, Thursday March 22, Tremp to Ascó La vostra energia, 199km
Stage five, Friday March 23, Ascó La vostra energia to Manresa, 207.1km
Stage six, Saturday March 24, Sant Fruitós de Bages to Badalona Centre Comercial Màgic, 169.4km
Stage seven, Sunday March 25, Badalona Centre Comercial Màgic to Barcelona (Sarrià), 119.8km
Tour of Catalonia 2012: Latest news
Azevedo on Catalonia chaos: ‘it’s war out there’
Tour of Catalonia 2012: Stage reports
Stage seven: Albasini claims biggest career win
Stage six: Sanchez outwits sprinters
Stage five: Simon pips Uran to stage win, Albasini holds on
Stage four: Uran takes Tour of Catalonia stage for Sky
Stage three: Brajkovik wins shortened stage; Albasini remains leader
Stage two: Albasini claims second stage win
GreenEdge win again as Albasini takes Catalunya opener
Tour of Catalonia: Previous winners
2011: Michele Scarponi (Alberto Contador win annulled)
2010: Joaquin Rodriguez
2009: Alejandro Valverde
2008: Gustavo Cesar Veloso
2007: Vladimir Karpets
2006: David Canada
2005: Yaroslav Popovych
2004: Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero
2003: Jose Antonio Pecharromán
2002: Roberto Heras
1985 Robert Millar
Tour of Catalonia: Last year’s top ten (2011)
Revised result – Albert Contador’s win annulled due to anti-doping suspension
1. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
2. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo
3. Christopher Horner (USA) Radioshack
4. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky
5. Xavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) Movistar
6. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
7. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing
8. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quickstep
61. Chris Froome (GB) Sky