Several riders a stuck in airports all day Sunday because of air traffic control strikes in France, meaning they almost didn't make it to the Volta a Catalunya

For what seems like the billionth time in the last 12 months, the French air traffic controllers are on strike. With the ensuing ‘travel chaos’, several riders almost didn’t make it to the start of the Volta a Catalunya on time.

Some general classification leaders were held up in airports across Europe as delays hit many airlines as they tried to get their passengers to Barcelona.

Giant-Alpecin’s Tom Dumoulin was one of the riders who had a lengthy stay in the airport. Having recovered from the flu in time to race in Catalunya, he faced not even getting to the start line.

LottoNL-Jumbo‘s Steven Kruijswijk was another rider holed up in an airport all afternoon, as were Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep) and Sander Armee (Lotto-Soudal).

The Volta a Catalunya runs from Monday to Sunday, with the mountainous parcours and summit finishes on stages three and four attracting an all-star line-up.

Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Fabio Aru and Nairo Quintana are just four of the big name riders looking for a strong result in the Catalan mountains ahead of their Tour de France bids.