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"Without our leader Joaquim Rodriguez here, it changes things for us. It might make it more possible for others in the team to try for personal results."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele




24.03.2015 @ 19:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Katusha’s Pavel Kochetkov sprinted for ninth place in a rain-soaked stage 2 of the 95th Volta a Catalunya on Tuesday, seizing the opportunity to try for a result in his early season.


"I’m not so happy with this result but it is my first top ten this year and for me it is a good step toward the future. I’m not usually a sprinter but it was bad weather conditions today and those mountains at the end made it hard for true sprinters, so I figured I could take my chances. I always try to get better each time, and try to go for a result when I see the opportunity. Without our leader Joaquim Rodriguez here, it changes things for us. It might make it more possible for others in the team to try for personal results. Today was long on the bike but not so cold so that made it bearable," said team rider Pavel Kochetkov.


Rain prevented most live coverage from going out to the world on Tuesday for stage 2 from Mataró to Olot (192 km) but racing still took place with a massive sprint bringing Movistar’s Alejandro Velverde to the winner’s circle. Joining him was teammate Jose Joaquin Rojas and Martin Elmiger of IAM Cycling.


After yesterday’s successful breakaway amassing a huge advantage of more than two minutes on the finish line, there was no change in the GC. Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) remains the leader by 4-seconds to Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar) and 8-seconds to Bart De Clercq of Lotto Soudal. The remainder of the field are more than 2.40 back from the trio at the top. 


A group of four riders went away early in the stage and formed an advantage of almost four minutes but after yesterday’s huge gap, Tuesday’s break was well controlled. Two climbs made up the road action, plus the final unrated kicker near the end. A large group came into the finish together at a high pace with the unlikely sprint from Valverde enough to win the stage.


Wednesday’s stage 3 (Girona to Girona at 157 km) includes five rated climbs with the final category 1 topping out just 7 km from the finish line.



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