Report/Result: Volta Catalunya Stage 6

South African time trial champion Daryl Impey sprinted to victory on today’s penultimate stage in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya whilst Froome and Thomas lose 26 minutes

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Report/Result: Volta Catalunya Stage 6

Photo courtesy of ©TDWsport.com

Orica Scott Press Release

South African time trial champion Daryl Impey sprinted to victory on today’s penultimate stage in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. After 30kilometres of racing the peloton saw significant splits with some of the race favourites missing out.

Impey selflessly rode to make sure the group stayed away to help Adam Yates move up in the overall classification to fourth, before trying to recover enough to contest the reduced bunch sprint. “It was an interesting day today with the splits,” Impey explained. “We had quite a few guys in the front and in the end it was such a reduced front group.”

“I was just happy to have the legs for the sprint because I rode quite hard early on. We moved Yates up overall so to get the win on top of that is fantastic. Going into today’s stage I didn’t think I would have a good chance but the team rode so well.

“We knew it would be hard to drop the sprinters today but we had numbers in the front, Carlos Verona was doing strong turns so I am happy to finish it off with a win.”

Impey, Yates, Verona and Damien Howson successfully made it into the front group and worked hard to make sure the race did not come back together, displaying great teamwork and determination.

“Today was obviously a great day for us to move up in the overall classification and also win the stage,” sport director Neil Stephens said. “It is a big step for the team and it sums up the team spirit. We had staff come and recon the stage, we knew it was a good stage and a potential stage for Daryl.

“The most important thing for us this week was to look after Yates’ overall chances, so Daryl really sacrificed himself in the early parts of the stage to try and keep the group away. In the final part of the stage, we said to Daryl to back off and try and recover, he said he was pretty tired but would still give it a go and that just shows the spirit of this team.”

How it happened:
After a tough summit finish yesterday the action kicked off once again on stage six. The first categorised climb of the day came after 25 kilometres and saw significant splits within the peloton.

A group of 53 riders quickly gained time on the second chase group, with favourites such as Chris Froome (Team Sky) caught out and in the second group. Yates, Howson, Verona and Impey successfully made it into the front group and their sizeable group’s advantage grew out to five minutes 40seconds with 70kilometres remaining.

Over two third category climbs and a first category, the Alt de Musara, the leading group rapidly extended their advantage to over 14minutes and reduced down from 53riders to just 28.

The small bunch barrelled down the mountain and towards the stage finish in Reus, chasing Alessandro De Marchi and Dario Cataldo who only had ten seconds on the chasers and had already started their sprint when they were swamped by the leaders in the bunch kick, with Impey beating Valverde and Vichot.
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Albert Contador (Trek Segafredo): “It was a tough stage, we did not know very well how the race was going to happen, but intermittent rain was expected, and we knew that we had to be attentive,” explained Contador. “There was a climb at the start, not very hard but with a complicated descent and we knew that we had to try to be well placed. I started the climb in the middle of the pack, and until I got to the front I had to go quite strong, but I knew it was super important to start the descent in front.

“We went down very fast and when we got down the peloton was broken into a thousand pieces, as I knew was going to happen. There were many teams interested in keeping the continuity of the split, and that benefited us.”

“I don’t think we will see any more surprises tomorrow,” added Contador. “It’s again the circuit of Montjuic, and although it is a hard day, very intense and many laps, the differences are always minimal in the finish. Although the victory was not possible today because the last mountain was very far from the finish, it was still a good day. The most important for me is the good feelings that I am having at the beginning of the season, although it is not finished by a victory for one or other reasons, but it gives me a lot of confidence for the big objectives, especially the one in the month of July.”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “It was another really tough day. The beginning of the stage was so fast, and it was all split down the first climb, which was even more difficult than the climbing itself. We always kept the front of the group and caught Froome unprepared behind, yet we only put Erviti out to work. There were so many teams interested on making that group stick, and the riders behind didn’t have a chance to make up terrain.

Now it’s all down to Sunday. It shouldn’t be a problem to keep the leader’s jersey, yet we must race as focused as we’ve done over the week. There will surely be attacks and many riders are still pretty much together and up for the podium and top-ten fights. We will just try to continue as we’ve been doing during the last few days. Keeping our team together and working as brilliantly as my team-mates have done over the entire race is the only way to win this.”

Petr Vakoč (Quickstep, fourth): “It’s a pity I didn’t get the win, as I was confident I could do it today, but the finale was really chaotic”, explained Petr after the stage. “We caught the two attackers with only 100 meters to go and that made the sprint a scrappy one. Fourth isn’t that bad, but I know I could have done better. Anyway, this stage is done and dusted, so now we’ll focus on the one in Barcelona, as the Montjuic circuit suits us.”

Dan Martin: (Quickstep) “We went full gas in the first part of the stage, as we knew it could have been a crucial one and there was a good chance to make the difference there. We brought seven guys to the front and we were all committed and motivated to give everything and ride hard. I think we can be proud of our job and of showing again the fantastic fighting spirit of this team”, said Dan Martin in Reus.

Alessandro De Marchi (BMC): “At the start it was crazy. We went onto the first climb really fast, and as we went over the top, we found a bit of wet road. On the downhill, the pace was really fast, and that was when the bunch split and Tejay van Garderen and I made it into the front group. From that moment, we were riding really fast as Team Sky were behind and the other teams wanted to try and put as much distance as possible between the two groups. I think we rode full gas for almost two hours.”

“When the time had risen to about 4 minutes, we knew the job was done and the second race of the day could begin. For us, it was important for me to help Tejay stay safe and to conserve his place on the General Classification because we were now going for one position higher. After the tricky downhill, the race was almost over, so I found Dario Cataldo (Astana), and we decided to try something, and we were able to jump off the front of the group fairly easily.”

“It was almost perfect for me, but then I had a small flat on the last kilometer, and maybe I waited too long to sprint, but you never know if you don’t try and I was feeling good. The whole day was really hard, but I am used to this type of day. It was just like being in a breakaway, and I have a lot of experience being in that position. I knew that all the guys in the final would be really tired so, it was just about trying to take a few seconds advantage and to see what could happen.”

Stage 6
1. Daryl Impey, ORICA-Scott
2. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team
3. Arthur Vichot, FDJ
4. Petr Vakoc, Quick-Step Floors
5. Alessandro De Marchi, BMC Racing Team
6. Nick van der Lijke, Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
7. Dario Cataldo, Astana Pro Team
8. Lennard Kämna, Team Sunweb
9. Cyril Gautier, AG2R La Mondiale
10. Daniel Martin, Quick-Step Floors

20. Adam Yates, ORICA-Scott
27. Alberto Contador, Trek – Segafredo
31. Tejay van Garderen, BMC Racing Team
36. Hugh Carthy, Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team 0:56
74. Chris Froome, Team Sky 26.38
86. Geraint Thomas, Team Sky

Overall
1. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team822:18:35
2. Alberto Contador, Trek – Segafredo 0:53
3. Marc Soler, Movistar Team 1:06
4. Adam Yates, ORICA-Scott 1:21
5. Tejay van Garderen, BMC Racing Team 1:24
6. Daniel Martin, Quick-Step Floors 2:19
7. Steven Kruijswijk, Team LottoNL-Jumbo 2:46
8. Carlos Verona, ORICA-Scott 2:50
9. George Bennett, Team LottoNL-Jumbo 2:51
10. Romain Bardet, AG2R La Mondiale 2:55

17. Hugh Carthy, Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team 8:07
31. Christopher Froome, Team Sky 27:05
32. Geraint Thomas, Team Sky 28:18

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