Sergio Higuita wraps up Volta a Catalunya victory as Andrea Bagioli wins final stage

It is Higuita's first GC win in Europe

Andrea Bagioli wins stage seven of the Volta a Catalunya
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sergio Higuita won the Volta a Catalunya, the biggest win of his young career, as Andrea Bagioli claimed the final stage.

Colombian Higuita moved into the race lead on Saturday after his breakaway heroics with Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), and the Bora-Hansgrohe rider never had his GC lead troubled on the seventh and final stage in Barcelona.

A day of multiple attacks came to nothing in the end, with a small group contesting a bunch finish, won by Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's Bagioli.

It is the 23-year-old's fourth victory of his career and his first WorldTour win. It means that the Belgian team leave the race with two stage wins, following Ethan Vernon's success on stage five.

For Higuita it caps off a terrific week of racing, the 24-year-old in contention to win the two summit finishes in the Pyrenees and then forming part of a 125km attack with Carapaz on Saturday, a move that will live long in the memory.

The 24-year-old, who joined Bora from EF Education First in the winter, won the Tour Colombia in 2020, but this is his first major general classification win in Europe.

Carapaz finished second on GC, 16 seconds in arrears, while former race leader João Almeida (UAE-Team Emirates) rounded out the podium in third place.

>>> Jumbo-Visma aim to lower expectations around Tom Dumoulin's Giro d'Italia tilt: 'The victory will be too much'

How it unfolded

The final stage of what has been an engrossing race began in the centre of Barcelona before heading out to the hillier suburbs ahead of a return into the heart of the city for seven laps of an undulating finishing circuit.

A number of attacks failed to stick in the first 30km of racing, before a group of 12 snuck away. The best GC rider in the group was Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Victorious) who was 2-05 in arrears from race leader Higuita, while Jumbo-Visma's Steven Kruijswijk and Trek-Segafredo's Giulio Ciccone were also present.

The dozen riders were permitted an advantage of around 90 seconds, that lead dropping to 45 seconds as they completed the first city centre lap.

With around 45km left to race, most of the breakaway were caught by the peloton, although Kruijswijk and Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ) remained out front. 

Typical of this final stage, there were subsequent multiple attacks from the peloton, a new chasing group of eight riders being formed, with UAE-Team Emirates' George Bennett among those present.

With Kruijswijk and Pacher holding a gap of around 50 seconds to the peloton 25km from the line, the chase group was reduced to four, now containing Simon Clarke of Israel - Premier Tech and Dries Devenyns of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

The quartet were caught shortly afterwards, with the leading duo eventually pulled back by the peloton with one lap to race. There were frequent attacks, but none were permitted a lengthy stay, meaning that a sprint from the reduced peloton would determine the outcome.

After the final bend and into the finishing straight alongside thousands of fans, Bagioli never looked like being beaten, cruising to a comfortable sprint victory with Attila Valter of Groupama-FDJ coming home second, and Caja Rural - Seguros RGA's Fernando Barceló in third.

Volta a Catalunya 2022 stage seven: Barcelona to Barcelona (139km)

1. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, in 3-18-09
2. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
3. Fernando Barceló (Esp) Caja Rural - Seguros RSA
4. Juan Ayuso (Esp) UAE-Team Emirates
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Victorious
6. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic
8. Carlos Verona (Esp) Movistar
9. Sergio Higuita (Col) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, all at same time

Final general classification

1. Sergio Higuita (Col) Bora-Hansgrohe, in 29-53-33
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 16s
3. João Almeida (Por) UAE-Team Emirates, at 52s
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic, at 53s
5. Juan Ayuso (Esp) UAE-Team Emirates, at 1-08
6. Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën, at 1-10
7. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X, at 1-13
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at 1-16
9. Torstein Træen (Nor) Uno-X, at 1-27
10. Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at 1-55

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.