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"We were in the front with our riders. The operation succeeded as we got rid of riders like Martin and leader De Clercq. Some ten km further along, however, we were handed the same bill."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele






27.03.2015 @ 21:25 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The racing in the 95th Volta a Catalunya was of the highest quality on Friday with Team Katusha eager to take advantage of a pre-race plan and split open the race in the windy conditions on hand for stage 5. 


"It was our goal to try to split the peloton and we saw opportunities with the wind. It was our way of trying to get back into the top ten. At some 40 km from finish we created echelons and the peloton split into many different parts. We were in the front with our riders. The operation succeeded as we got rid of riders like Martin and leader De Clercq. Some ten km further along, however, we were handed the same bill. The front group split further in echelons at the top of a small climb and we missed it. Caruso and Trofimov finished in the second group. So in the end we did not get the result we wanted but I am happy. Our riders saw that our plan was a good plan and they all went for it," said team director Xavi Florencio. Giampaolo Caruso finished 23rd and Iurii Trofimov was 28th on the stage.


A group of GC favorites went clear with 11 km to go under the impetus of Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde. The Spanish rider attacked again with 3 km to go, leaving the others to look around for whom would mount a chase. It was already too late and in the end Valverde gapped the group and won by five seconds to Rigoberto Uran (Etixx – Quick Step) and Paolo Tiralongo (Astana). Jersey wearer Bart De Clercq was left behind and a new race leader emerged in Richie Porte (Sky). Porte leads by 5-seconds to Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) and seven-seconds to Alberto Contador of Tinkoff-Saxo. 


The 195,4 km stage began in Alp and descended for 80 km before heading into the flat farmlands where wind swirled from all directions in the wide open plains. Three riders went clear but were brought back early in the wind-swept region and well before the only climb at 14 km to go. It was after the climb that the general classification players made their move with Valverde in clear control of the run-in to Valls. 


The weekend brings the final two days of racing in the Volta a Catalunya. Saturday’s stage 6 is 194,1 km from Cervera to end along the coastline in Port Aventura. It should be a day for the sprinters.



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