Image 1 of 19 Kaden Groves wins stage 6 at Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Getty Images) Einer Rubio attacks during the stage 6 at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2023 (Image credit: Getty Images) A general view of the peloton passing through a wind farm during the stage 6 at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2023 (Image credit: Getty Images) Egan Bernal involved in a crash during the stage 6 at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2023 (Image credit: Getty Images) Remco Evenepoel during the stage 6 at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2023 (Image credit: Getty Images) Louis Vervaeke attacks during the stage 6 at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2023 (Image credit: Getty Images) Louis Barr attacks during the stage 6 at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2023 (Image credit: Getty Images) Marc Soler, Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic on stage 6 at Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Getty Images) Marc Soler, Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic on stage 6 at Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Getty Images) Remco Evenepoel, Primoz Roglic and Marc Soler sprint for bonus seconds at Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Getty Images) Marc Soler on the attack on stage 6 at Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Getty Images) Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic locked in a heated GC battle on stage 6 at Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Getty Images) Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic locked in a heated GC battle on stage 6 at Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Getty Images) Kaden Groves comes back from late-race bike change to win stage 6 (Image credit: Getty Images) Kaden Groves throws his bike to the line to win stage 6 (Image credit: Getty Images) Primoz Roglic in the green leader’s jersey at Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Getty Images) Primoz Roglic in the blue points jersey at Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Getty Images) Primoz Roglic in the red mountain jersey at Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Getty Images) Kaden Groves celebrates winning stage 6 (Image credit: Getty Images) Despite stage 6 of the Volta a Catalunya looking suitable terrain for a battle between the breakaway and the sprinters, the day once again played host to the Remco Evenepoel vs Primož Roglič GC fight as the pair did battle over intermediate sprint bonus seconds throughout the stage. In the end, both men took a second off one another, leaving the 10-second gap at the top of the standings the same as the morning ahead of Sunday’s hilly Montjuïc Park finale in Barcelona. Meanwhile, the stage honours went to Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), who was forced to mount a late chase back to the peloton after a bike change just 4km from the line.
The Australian quickly acclimatised to teammate Xandro Meurisse’s bike after the swift swap at the side of the road before speeding home to claim his second win of the race ahead of Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) as Evenepoel sprinted to fifth place. It was Soudal-QuickStep who provided the lead-out, hoping Evenepoel could snag a top-three placing and take more time on Roglič. There were several sprinters still in the peloton, though, including Groves who jumped from Roglič’s wheel to the Bora-Hansgrohe mini-sprint train before launching at 150 metres to go.
On the left, Evenepoel didn’t have enough pure speed to compete with the quicker finishers, with Coquard and Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) passing him as they fought to keep pace with Groves. Neither man had the legs to get alongside Groves, who crossed the line first to nail Alpecin-Deceuninck’s sixth win of March and of the 2023 season. “Number one was nice but a second stage win this week, so I’m very happy,” Groves said after the stage.
“At about 7 or 8km to go I felt my rear tyre had a slow leak. I wasn’t sure whether to stop or not. I was thinking maybe I should do the sprint with a pretty flat.
But in the end, I’ve got to thank my directors – they decided that I should do a bike swap with Xandro. “So, at about 5km to go I stopped and he gave me his bike. Then I got to come back and with the help of Nicola, I got back to the front for the sprint.
“I was very lucky that I had them there. We didn’t have time to do a full bike change, so we had to just sacrifice one guy. It was a headwind until the final corners, so we stopped in the headwind and got back in the crosswind.
Thankfully it was a reduced bunch, and the race wasn’t going too fast. ” The fight for the race win remains the same overnight, with Roglič leading Evenepoel by 10 seconds ahead of a potentially action-packed finale in Barcelona. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) lies in third at 1:07, while at a further 47 seconds down, his teammate Marc Soler leads Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) by a second.
How it unfolded The 174km hilly penultimate stage of the Volta a Catalunya would take the peloton from Martorell to nearby Molins de Rei via a long excursion into the hills to the west. The day’s only categorised climb – the Alt de la Creu d’Aragall – would come inside the final 30km, but the opening 140km would be up and down all the way. Early on in the day, Evenepoel’s Soudal-QuickStep team attempted to place Mattia Cattaneo and Ilan Van Wilder among several breakaway attempts, though Roglič’s Jumbo-Visma squad shut down move after move on the road to the day’s first intermediate sprint after 66km.
Roglič took advantage of no breakaway at that point to beat out Evenepoel in the sprint and take an extra second to extend his race lead to 11 seconds. Shortly afterwards, Ineos Grenadiers’ Egan Bernal would see his comeback cut short after a crash send him out of the race. The day’s break finally went after the midway point of the stage, with Fausto Masnada (Soudal-QuickStep) getting away alongside Carlos Verona (Movistar), Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën), Oscar Onley (Team DSM), Simone Velasco (Astana Qazaqstan), and Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X).
The move would gain a minute on the peloton as the likes of Bahrain Victorious and Israel-Premier Tech, though they would be caught at the start of the Alt de la Creu d’Aragall with Soler jumping away on the counter-attack. The Spaniard would take 20 seconds on the peloton in his quest to overhaul Landa for fourth overall, though behind him Evenepoel and Roglič would take off again near the top of the climb. With the Belgian leading the charge, the pair caught Soler on the way down, dropping him as Evenepoel led the way down towards the flat and the final intermediate sprint.
He would eventually tire of riding on the front, however, eventually swinging off to play cat-and-mouse with Roglič just a kilometre ahead of the sprint at 8km out. He, Roglič, and Soler would be back at the front in the dash for the line in Palleja, crossing the sprint point in that order to restore the status quo at the top of the GC while Soler grabbed that second to edge out Landa for fourth. From there, Jumbo-Visma controlled the pace on the road to the finish, while Groves swung away from the peloton 4km out to get that all-important bike change.
Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ) put in the last, hopeless, attack of the day heading under the flamme rouge before Soudal-QuickStep hit the front in the final 600 metres for Evenepoel. The Belgian gave it his best to win his second stage of the week, but a sprint on the flat was always going to be better suited to the likes of Coquard, Schelling, and eventual stage winner Groves. Results powered by FirstCycling (opens in new tab).