It was in good health that Guillaume Boivin (Israel – Premier Tech) was able to play his role as a teammate with Michael Woods as the curtain raiser for the Catalonia Cycling Tour. On Monday, on the 165 kilometer loop on the outskirts of Sant Feliu de Guixols, Boivin supported his compatriot who finished 13th in the group of favorites.

On the strength of his recent victory at Tirreno-Adriatico, Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) won the sprint in this uphill final ahead of world champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal – Quick Step).

Boivin was proud to have been able to survive the four passes of the day and above all, to have avoided the high-speed crash that occurred just over 5 kilometers from the finish line when the last survivors of the breakaway morning have been caught up.

“It went well!” The level of the race is quite high and almost all the best climbers in the world are here,” noted the 2021 Canadian champion.

“It’s not easy in the bumps, but I got through them and took care of Mike (Woods) at the end. We were at the front of the fall and it’s sad that our teammate Corbin Strong got caught behind. I’m happy to have been able to do my job in the final, so it’s a good start to the lap, “continued the one who was the 118th (1 min 34 s) to reach the finish.

If the Quebecer was able to stay with Woods until the last ascent, it is mainly because he has regained his health. His last race before Monday was on February 26, so he was unable to finish Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Boivin then found himself on the sidelines after contracting COVID-19 and having back problems.

“It feels good to feel normal and be at my level (in shape) and do my job. »

There will be plenty of work in the peloton for Tuesday’s stage. If the 165 kilometers which will separate Mataro and Vallter are a reasonable distance, the last 15 kilometers of the stage, the Vallter pass, promise to be difficult with a finish at the top of this exceptional pass at an average slope of 6, 7%.