Volta a Catalunya: stage one – five observations

Luka Mezgec quick off the mark but Richie Porte suffers

Chris Froome (Team Sky) returned to action on stage one of the Volta a Catalunya, but it was a rare chance for the sprinters on what is set to be a feast of climbing this week.

Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) was the man to take full advantage, making it two consecutive WorldTour stage wins for the Slovenian who won on his previous outing in Beijing last year.

Back in black: Chris Froome, pictured at last year’s Tour de France, returned to action after injury (pic: Sirotti)

Before then Mezgec had endured a season of near-misses, but with victory following success in the one-day Handzame Classic it is clear he will not suffer as many frustrations this season.

Also returning to action on stage one was Richie Porte (Team Sky) after his withdrawal from Tirreno-Adriatico through illness, but while Froome finished safely in the bunch, Porte showed he is not yet over that illness as he finished in a small grupetto almost three minutes back.

But what can we take from the first day of this year’s race? Read on for our observations.

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