Primoz Roglic struck a psychological blow in the lead-up to the Giro d’Italia by holding off Remco Evenepoel to win the 102nd edition of the Volta a Catalunya on Sunday.
The pair scrapped all the way to the finish of the 135km final stage around Barcelona including multiple ascents of the Montjuic.
Evenepoel went into the final stage 10 seconds adrift of Roglic. Hard as he tried, the Belgian was unable to shake off his rival, with Roglic allowing him the minor honour of taking the stage win without a sprint for the line, cutting the winning deficit to just 6sec.
“We expected his attacks. The seven days were difficult but I had the legs,” said Roglic. “I’m happy to add my name to the list of winners of this historic race.”
The Slovenian, who had already won the previous week’s Tirreno-Adriatico, took the lead in the general classification by winning the first stage.
“I knew it was going to be difficult but I had to try. It was a good battle. I’m very happy with my week,” said Evenepoel.
Joao Almeida of UAE Team Emirates finished third overall, over two minutes behind Roglic.
— Volta a Catalunya (@VoltaCatalunya) March 26, 2023