Volta Catalunya: Stage 6

A strong BORA-hansgrohe team puts Peter Sagan on top with sensational sprint victory on Volta a Catalunya stage 6, Adam Yates continues to lead overall

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Volta Catalunya: Stage 6

A strong BORA-hansgrohe team puts Peter Sagan on top with sensational sprint victory on Volta a Catalunya stage 6, Adam Yates continues to lead overall

It was going to take a certain kind of rider to take the win on stage 6 of the Volta a Catalunya. While the stage only featured two 3rd category climbs, the long 193.8km parcours was relentlessly choppy from start to finish.

In spite of this, the stage was marked as one that the sprinters would want to be in contention for, with a long downhill stretch from the final climb of the day to the finish line in Mataró. It didn’t take long for the day’s break to go out, but BORA-hansgrohe was a strong force at the front of the peloton, working to keep the escapees in check.

While the five-man break was determined, the German team was more determined, never allowing the advantage to go beyond 3:30, and the gap coming down every time their riders came to the front. With Ben Zwiehoff and Wilco Kelderman on the front, the escape came within touching distance, and with just less than 20km left to go, the catch was made. From here, it was a matter of keeping any subsequent attacking moves in check, with Lennard Kämna on the front, sacrificing himself to protect Peter Sagan after his own stage win yesterday, as the kilometres dipped below double figures and the peloton readied themselves for a sprint.

The speeds had stretched out the bunch with many riders caught out of position, but Peter was five riders back, biding his time and picking the right moment to start his sprint on the narrow, crowded roads. While the other sprinters were fighting amongst themselves, Peter squeezed through the middle of them and from this point he left them all behind. The Slovak rider crossed the line to take his first win of the 2021 season with a powerful sprint that put clean air between himself and second place.

Peter Sagan: “It was our goal today to go for the stage win, so the plan was to control the race from the start. I’d like to thank all my BORA-hansgrohe teammates for their effort, they controlled from start to finish. It was a fast and great race today. I came here after Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo without a break and we had six hard stages here at the Volta Catalunya, so I’m a bit tired. I’m happy with this victory, it’s a good start to the season, especially after what I went through the two months before coming here. It wasn’t an easy period but it looks nice now. We have one last stage tomorrow, a short but fast one, and I think the teams fighting for the GC will control it. We’ll see however how it plays out.”

Daryl Impey: “The guys truly helped me a lot today,” he said after the finish. “We took responsibility today and rode at the front all day. With Peter Sagan on my wheel in the last few hundred meters, I knew it would be hard to beat him. To get second is good.”

Sebastian Molano : ”I’m pleased with the performance today. The team worked well as a group and got me over the final climb in a perfect position. I had to brake hard and lost position a little in the final kilometre. I got back up to speed and managed to get a result. It feels good to be back disputing sprints in Europe again and I’m hoping a win will come soon.”

Adam Yates (Race leader) “It was good, it was the first day we didn’t have to work or pull or do anything really. It was about staying in position and staying out of trouble. It was a welcome rest, because like I’ve been saying for a few days, the Barcelona stage tomorrow is going to be super tough. We needed to save all the energy we could for tomorrow.

“Once you get to the circuit it’s relentless. You go up, then down a tricky descent. You don’t really get time to recover – then you’re already on to the next climb. It’s a real tough circuit. I’ve done it before so I know just how hard it is.

“The boys are looking good. We stayed out of trouble today and I think it’s going to be about more of the same tomorrow – trying to control the race.”



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