The organisers of the Volta a Catalunya must be pinching themselves with the quality of field they've attracted for the 2016 race

All three reigning Grand Tour champions will line up, alongside numerous other contenders for the three-week races this season.

Here is our pick of the riders to watch for the mountainous race.

Chris Froome

Chris Froome on stage one of the Herald Sun Tour

Chris Froome on stage one of the Herald Sun Tour

The two-time Tour de France champion makes his European debut, having won his first race of the season at the Herald Sun Tour in Australia.

Froome will be keen to make a strong impression in the race, with all of his nearest rivals for this summer’s Tour also in attendance. Team Sky look like they mean business, sending an incredibly strong squad to support Froome in the Catalan mountains.

Geraint Thomas reverts to the role of super domestique after his Paris-Nice win, while trusted lieutenants Wout Poels, Mikel Nieve, Ian Boswell and Nicolas Roche are also present.

Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana on stage twenty of the 2015 Tour de France

Nairo Quintana on stage twenty of the 2015 Tour de France

Like Froome, Nairo Quintana is also making his European debut, having started his season at the Tour de San Luis. Also like Froome, Quintana will be looking to start his WorldTour season with a bang as he looks to upset the Team Sky rider and win his first Tour de France this summer.

Movistar have put out a strong team as well, with Nairo’s brother Dayer looking to build on his surprise San Luis victory.

The high mountains in Catalunya will suit Quintana down to the ground, and his winter at altitude in his native Colombia won’t hurt his chances of winning either.

Alberto Contador

Alberto Contador attacks on the final stage of the 2016 Paris-Nice (Watson)

Alberto Contador attacks on the final stage of the 2016 Paris-Nice (Watson)

In what is possibly his last season, Alberto Contador has his sights on some bigger prizes than the Volta a Catalunya, but the Spaniard knows just how important early season results are to his overall goals.

He showed at Paris-Nice last week that he’s gunning for stage race wins, taking Geraint Thomas to the wire in the final stage in Nice with multiple attacks throughout the stage.

While he technically won the race back in 2011, the result was scratched because of his clenbuterol ban, so he’ll be hoping to get this one in the bag before he retires.

Fabio Aru

Fabio Aru on the podium after the final stage of the 2015 Vuelta Espana (Watson)

Fabio Aru on the podium after the final stage of the 2015 Vuelta Espana (Watson)

Fabio Aru has started his season quietly, but produced some solid results in the process. Sixth overall at the Volta a Valenciana in February, followed by ninth at the Volta ao Algarve.

So far Aru seems to only be dealing in races that begin with ‘Volta’, but that seems to be working out well for him.

While ninth in the Algarve wasn’t particularly impressive, he did come second to Contador on the summit finish to Alto do Malhao which will give him confidence that his form is on track.

Joaquim Rodriguez

Joaquim Rodriguez wins Stage 15 of the 2015 Vuelta Espana in Comillas

Joaquim Rodriguez wins Stage 15 of the 2015 Vuelta Espana in Comillas

As a two-time winner and a Barcelona native, Joaquim Rodriguez knows the Volta a Catalunya like the back of his hand.

He may be advancing in years, but his nose for a win has not been lost – as he proved at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España last year.

With all the other Grand Tour winners around him, Purito may fall under the radar in this race, but don’t count him out of the equation for the final classification

Richie Porte

Richie Porte during the 2016 Tour of Oman

Richie Porte during the 2016 Tour of Oman

Richie Porte won this race last year as part of his remarkable spring campaign. He came off the back of winning Paris-Nice the week before and triumphed over Alejandro Valverde in Catalunya by just four seconds.

He’s not been in such imperious form this season so far, performing below expectations at the Tour of Oman before finishing third in Paris-Nice last week.

His late attack with Contador in Nice will have given him some indication of how his legs are, but the mountains in Catalunya are significantly higher than they are in Nice, so it’ll be interesting to see how Porte competes this year.