Alejandro Valverde unstoppable in Volta a Catalunya queen stage
Mar 24 2017 11:47 pm CET

Alejandro Valverde unstoppable in Volta a Catalunya queen stage

Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team has won the queen stage of the Volta a Catalunya.

The fifth of seven stages was always going to be influential to the general classification with a summit finish on the hors-category Lo Port separating those in form from those that aren't.

The stage featured a rather large lead group of 15 riders including Pierre Rolland, Robert Gesink, Robert Kiserlowski and Laurens De Plus. The maximum gap of 5'40" was slowly reduced by the peloton led by Sky.

The peloton's effort was obstructed however when the bunch broke into several pieces due to the wind at around 60 kilometers from the finish. Organization in the pack was soon restored however and the leaders were caught with around 30 kilometers to go.

The first attack on the final climb came from Pierre Latour, winner of the Aitana stage at the 2016 Vuelta a España, but the AG2R rider didn't get away from his rivals this time as Trek-Segafredo calmly pulled the bunch to reel in the Frenchman.

Trek continued to set a high pace and Alberto Contador attacked with about five kilometers to go, shortly after his teammate Jarlinson Pantano hand emptied his engine giving it his all for his team leader.

Contador's pace proved too much for race leader Tejay Van Garderen of BMC Racing Team and a new lead group eventually formed with the Trek rider, Alejandro Valverde, Chris Froome, Adam Yates and Marc Soler.

Yates was the first rider to get dropped from the front group and was soon followed by Soler. Froome struggled to keep up as well and although the Team Sky rider momentarily managed to hang on, he had no response left when Valverde launched a final powerful attack with about two kilometers left.

The Movistar leader immediately created a significant gap with Contador and Froome and went on to win the stage with a ten-second advantage over his rivals.

Van Garderen finished at 1'50" from the stage winner and as such lost his top spot in the overall classification to Valverde, who now has a 13-second advantage over second-placed Froome and third-placed Contador.
Photo of Alejandro Valverde (cropped) by Movistar Team




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