Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2014: preview

Chris Froome returns to WorldTour action to lead Team Sky

Chris Froome (Team Sky) will bid to bounce back from injury in style when the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya rolls out of Calella on Monday (March 24).

Froome withdrew from Tirreno-Adriatico as a result of an inflammation in his back, but after returning to training is relishing the challenge of facing off against a strong line-up in Catalonia next week.

Chris Froome was in imperious form at the Tour of Oman and will hope to return in style at the Volta a Catalunya (pic: ASO/Bruno Bade)

Strong opposition will include newly-crowned Paris-Nice champion, Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale), and Tirreno-Adriatico winner, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), while Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) is expected to return as defending champion.

A punchy course awaits, with the summit finish in the ski resort of Vallter 2000 among the gruelling climbs included on the route.

In total 1,173 kilometres of racing is in store over the seven stages, with several leading contenders for the green and white striped jersey of overall winner.

We have looked in depth at the stages and contenders over the following pages. Read on for our preview.

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