Volta Catalunya Stage 5

Lennard Kämna solo’s to victory on stage 5 of Volta Catalunya after a big breakaway stays clear of Adam Yates and his team who controlled the gap to the breakaway and Adam continues to lead overall

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Volta Catalunya Stage 5

Stage 5 of the Volta a Catalunya wasn’t listed as a mountain stage, but there was enough climbing over its 200km parcours to tire out the riders and show who still had the legs to take time in the GC standings.

However, with the terrain almost tailor made for a breakaway win, there was a flurry of attacks from the very start of the stage, and in spite of some desperate attempts in the bunch to shut these down, the attacks and counter attacks wore the bunch down and it was a split in the peloton that led to the day’s break forming.

Ide Schelling was one of the riders with an instrumental role in making it stick, teaming up to create a group of four that built a lead of 1:45, with a huge group of forty behind them, with eventual winner Lennard Kämna. With 80km remaining, Ide’s group was joined by six others to form a group of ten, holding a slim lead over the chasers with the main peloton nearly four minutes behind before the chasers and the break regrouped with 45km to go and a solo rider attacked from the front here.

With a first category climb separating this bunch from the finish, there was a dramatic slowing down after the incredibly fast speeds seen earlier in the stage. It was with 25km to go that Lennard Kämna bridged to the front with a few others, before going away on his own with 12km left. The German built a slim lead as the riders behind him struggled to work together to bring him back. On the flat with just a couple of kilometres left, Lennard went into time trial mode, taking the time to enjoy his incredible solo victory, punching the air in delight as he crossed the line 39 seconds ahead of his chasers.

Lennard Kämna (Bora hansgrohe) stage winner: “I’m very happy with this victory. Yesterday, I tried this already, but I went a little bit early. I didn’t have the best legs in the first part of the stage today and I just made it to the group. However, on the last climb I was feeling strong again, so I gave it another shot and I’m happy that in the end, it worked out. It’s a fabulous feeling – it’s my first race of the season and it’s great to be here in good shape and to take a victory. I had a really good feeling at the moment I attacked. Everyone was watching one another and they were a little annoyed that we weren’t working well, so it seemed the right time to try. There are a couple of stages still left, so we’ll always keep trying.”

Dion Smith – 4th: “It was hard to know which move to go with in the final, you just never know. There was one team EF with two guys, everybody else was on their own so nobody was really riding trying to get Cavagna back. I was on the limit, so I had to just choose my efforts wisely. A couple of guys then got away in the last kilometres and everybody was just looking at each other.

“I think I surprised myself a little bit because the whole time leading up to the climb I was suffering. Everyone was tired but there was a lot of good climbers, a lot of good guys. I tried to stay calm, and I managed to stay with the front which is good so I can take confidence.”

Adam Yates remains in the lead after his team worked hard to keep control of the race. With splits and attacks, the team were happy to let a large group go from the peloton, with no rider proving an immediate threat to Adam’s team’s GC trio. The team set about pegging and then limiting the gap to ensure that not only does Yates still hold a 45-second lead, Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas remain on the provisional podium spots heading into the weekend.

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