The Volta a Catalunya is a popular road bicycle race held annually in Catalonia, Spain. It is a part of the UCI World Tour programme, ranking second behind the Vuelta a España in popularity for Spain. Due to its place in the riding calendar (after the Giro d'Italia), it was long viewed as an important Tour de France preparation race for cyclists. After the inauguration of the ProTour, the race moved to May, making it an alternative for the Giro. This didn't prove to be a successful change, and for the 2010 season, the race organisation announced a move to late March, the date formerly held by another Catalan stage race, the Setmana Catalana. The first edition was held in January and lasted for three days.
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