The opening stage one at the Volta a Catalunya ended in a bunch sprint, but it was far from easy with six categorized climbs – including two rated category one – and many teams, including Trek-Segafredo, had thoughts only of saving energy for a decisive team time trial scheduled tomorrow.
Trek-Segafredo brought a team of climbers to the seven-day race, and the goal for the 179-kilometer first day was straightforward: arrive at the finish with no incidents and, despite the lumpy day, as fresh as possible. The team stayed out of the chaotic sprint and crossed the line in the bunch, ready for the first of many GC battles tomorrow.
"It was a very fast stage, we had to be very attentive, and the team was phenomenal," said Alberto Contador. "We tried to save energy thinking about tomorrow, although there were 3,000 meters of uphill that the legs will notice. Tomorrow is a crucial day. We will try to do the best TTT possible, and we will see how we come out of it."
Tuesday's 41.3-kilometer team time trial is long and hard enough to inflict real damage to GC hopes, and Trek-Segafredo will need to bring its A-game. With time trial experts Markel Irizar and Matthias Brändle leading the way, and the team's leaders Alberto Contador and Bauke Mollema no slouches in the race against the clock, Trek-Segafredo will hold its own against the more specialized squads, aiming to keep time gaps to a minimal.
"In a one-week race, a TTT of 41kms gives you respect because the differences can be very big and will condition the fight for the GC," Contador continued. "But we have a great team here, and I've confidence in them. I see the favorites as Sky, BMC, and Movistar, teams that always do impressive TTTs, and they are very, very direct rivals. We'll do our best, and then see how we are in the GC and based on this, we'll see how we play our cards the rest of the week."