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"Finally! It was very important for us, for me, for the team. We haves ought victory since the season started. It was fast, and the day was not easy. It is the victory of the whole team."

Photo: Sirotti

AG2R LA MONDIALE

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ALBERTO CONTADOR

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AXEL DOMONT

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BERT JAN LINDEMAN

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CAMERON MEYER

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CHRIS FROOME

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DARYL IMPEY

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DAVIDE CIMOLAI

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DECEUNINCK - QUICK-STEP

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DIMENSION DATA

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ESTEBAN CHAVES

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GROUPAMA-FDJ

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LAURENS TEN DAM

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LORRENZO MANZIN

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MIGUEL ANGEL LOPEZ

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MITCHELTON-SCOTT

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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NAIRO QUINTANA

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NIKIAS ARNDT

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PETR VAKOC

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RICHIE PORTE

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RYDER HESJEDAL

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SIMON GERRANS

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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TEAM SKY

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TEAM SUNWEB

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TEJAY VAN GARDEREN

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TOSH VAN DER SANDE

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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VOLTA A CATALUNYA

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WANTY - GROUPE GOBERT

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26.03.2016 @ 22:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Davide Cimolai made up for what has been a disappointing start to the year for Lampre-Merida by claiming the team’s first WorldTour win in a dramatic finale of stage 6 at the Volta a Catalunya. After the early break was caught with less than 500m to go, he launched a powerful sprint on the uphill finishing straight and easily held off Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) and Tosh van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) to take his first win of the year. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) retained the lead on the eve of the final stage.

 

We have gathered several reactions.

 

Davide Cimolai after having broken the Lampre-Merida drought: Finally!

"I'm really happy because I completed the fantastic work of my teammates in the best way,” said Cimolai. “It was not easy to catch the break but we managed it. I told the sports director that I was fine and that I wanted to try to get a result in the sprint and I reached my goal.

 

“I have a good feeling right since Paris-Nice but, for various reasons, I have never been able to express myself as I wanted, always finding stronger opponents at the World Tour races.

 

“Today everything finally went as I wanted and for the second consecutive year, I took the first win of the season for the team, to whom I extend my gratitude for the trust and support.

 

"Finally! It was very important for us, for me, for the team. We haves ought victory since the season started. It was fast, and the day was not easy. It is the victory of the whole team. For me personally, it is a major success. I was waiting for this since Paris-Nice. I had good sensations, but the victory did not come. Today it finally arrived. It was time.”

 

”We really wanted it so much, both me and the team, because we have been looking for the victory from the beginning of the season. Today it finally arrived, in an important stage and an important race.

 

“It was a very complicated stage to win, with so many riders ahead in the break to be honest I didn’t think we’d have any chance of taking the victory in a bunch sprint.

 

“I have to thank the team, because this required a lot of hard work to succeed on their part. Without them, it wouldn’t have happened.”

 

“Bouhanni and Swift top names, and without them here, it was largely up to us in Lampre to keep the moves under control. So it was tough win, but a good one.”
 

Nikias Arndt narrowly misses out on victory after tough start to the year

Giant-Alpecin had Laurens Ten Dam in the break and finished second with Nikias Arndt.

 

Arndt looked strong, racing down the left hand side of the road as the sprint opened up, catching the final breakaway riders in the final kilometre, but falling just short of taking the stage.

 

It’s not the first time that Ten Dam has shown his hand at the front of the race after his breakaway attempt on stage 4 of the race, but once again it was not to be today as he was dropped from the final breakaway riders in the final five kilometres, being passed by the bunch at the front of which the team hit the front to set the sprint up for Arndt. It was not a straightforward stage by any means though, with a fast pace throughout and crosswinds to deal with that occasionally threatened to split the peloton.

 

Team Giant-Alpecin remained strong behind the breakaway, making sure that Arndt was out of the wind and int he best position come the finale. After putting him into a strong position for the sprint, he gave it his all, with his trademark seated sprint passing riders all the way to the line but coming up just short at the line.

 

In the overall classification, Warren Barguil stayed in 25th place as there was no change in the GC ahead of tomorrow’s 136.4km final stage around Barcelona.

 

After the stage, Nikias Arndt gave his thoughts on the stage. “We had a really good day and it was good to have one of us in the breakaway. That gave us a really good feeling all day, staying focused on the job.

 

“It was a very hard day though, but despite this we all stayed focused on our plan and the team did a really good final. I am satisfied with second place, but I wish that I could have given us a victory today. I’m also pleased that the team believed in me today after a hard period and a tough week.”

 

Team Coach Morten Bennekou added: “The team did a really good job today. We had a clear plan that we wanted to go for the sprint with Nikias and we had a 100% well prepared plan for the final. The boys gave everything for Nikias and he came through with a second place.

 

“Of course it’s always disappointing to be so close to the victory and not win but it’s anyway nice to be so close after a hard start to the season for the team.”

 

Team of climbers delivers van der Sande to third in Catalonia

”Have to thank my @Lotto_Soudal teammates ! All climbers and still put me in a perfect position... Chapeau ! @SanderArmee is a beast btw,” van der Sande tweeted after taking third in the stage.

 

Orica-GreenEDGE mess up lead-out in Catalonia

Stage six of the WorldTour race Volta Catalunya finished with a bunch sprint. Multiple Tour de France stage winner Simon Gerrans narrowly missed out on a podium spot, finishing the day in fourth place. 

 

Colombian climber Esteban Chaves spent 130kilometres of the 197kilometre stage in the breakaway, alongside ten others who were all eventually caught in the closing metres. Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida) took the stage honours into Vilanove i la Geltru.

 

Sport director Neil Stephens explained how the day unfortunately didn't quite work out for ORICA-GreenEDGE.

 

"We got a bit split at the start and Gerrans had to do a bit of work early on," Stephens said. "We decided we would sprint for Daryl Impey today, but as it turned out we probably didn't execute the finish as well as we could have.

 

"Simon and Daryl got split up in the final 500metres and so we made a couple of mistakes today. Everyone wanted to do better but couldn't for different reasons and that was just the way it worked out."

 

ORICA-GreenEDGE were represented in the day's long breakaway which animated most of stage and worked as an advantage for the team.

 

"We had Esteban in the break today and by having someone there, there is always a chance to go for a stage finish," Stephens continued. "It probably wasn't a stage that suited Esteban, but while he is in the front it's like having a lottery ticket, you've got a chance of getting the win.

 

"There were plenty of good bike riders out the in the break with him, and while he is out the front riding, we don't have to ride at the back so that works out for us, that was the benefit we got out of it in the end"

 

Canadian Christian Meier didn't take to the start line for ORICA-GreenEDGE after not feeling 100% over the last few days.

 

Unstoppable Petr Vakoc tantalizingly close to victory in Catalonia

Petr Vakoč confirmed once again his strong form, which he displayed ever since the season began, in January, at the Tour Down Under. After notching a top 5 on the stage to Stirling and finding his rhythm in Australia, he returned to Europe, where he enjoyed an incredible ride in February and March, which saw him become the first ever rider to win both Classic Sud-Ardèche and La Drôme Classic in the same season, two victories in addition to which he notched other podiums and top 10 placings in one-day races and stage events alike.

 

This week, the 23-year-old came at the start of the Volta a Catalunya with the double goal of helping the team and go for a strong personal result, and he was very close to reach both, coming only 300 meters short of the latter, after a day which will leave a lasting impression on everyone. Petr Vakoč one of the 11 riders who managed to go into the escape on Saturday's stage 6 (Sant Joan Despi – Vilanova i la Geltru, 197.2 km), following another fast and furious start, because of which it was impossible to snap the elastic in the first hour.

 

With 15 kilometers to go, the gap came down to under a minute, but this didn't discourage Vakoč, who made his way to the front and pulled hard in order to ensure the break's success.

 

Despite being caught after spending more than hours in the escape, Petr Vakoč remained in the first line, showing the grit and panache which only champion possess, and kicked his sprint, finishing sixth.

 

In the overall standings, not only that Daniel Martin successfully defended his fourth place, but he won again an intermediate sprint, just as he did on Friday's stage, and took the bonifications thanks to which he is now just one second behind the third place.

 

"The team was amazing once again, working hard and protecting Dan Martin, while also helping him get those seconds at the sprint. After that, when I saw a break could go clear, I went there and gave everything. I pushed hard all the time, hoping we will make it. The finale was really exciting, as I couldn't turn my head to see how far the bunch was and kept going until the end, focusing on my effort and on the sprint. It was a good and strong performance, which makes me happy and gives me a lot of confidence for the Ardennes Classics, but I'm also disappointed by the result, because I came really close of puling it off. But the race isn't over and we're prepared for another day tomorrow, when we'll stay around Dan in order to help him get on the podium", said Vakoč, the best placed rider from Saturday's escape at the finish line in Vilanova i la Geltru.

 

"It's a shame. We went very close, missing 50 meters. I'm sorry, really, but it was a good day. I gave everything and in the end I tried to keep up the speed in the sprint. I'm so frustrated.

 

"I am very happy with my condition. I did very well in France and the Strade Bianche. I'm building the form for the classics, I am convinced that I can do well there.”

 

Bert-Jan Lindeman after near-miss: I refused to look back

Bert-Jan Lindeman's long escape failed to withstand a hungry peloton in the sixth stage of Spain’s Volta Ciclista a Catalunya today. The Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider emerged from the original breakaway of nine men with three other riders, but a sprinting bunch passed them with only 200 metres remaining and Davide Cimolai (Lampre - Merida) won.

 

The Team LottoNL-Jumbo men already fought for their chance to be part of the leading group in yesterday’s fifth stage, and that wasn’t different on Saturday. Primoz Roglic, Robert Gesink and Bert-Jan Lindeman escaped in small groups. Lindeman succeeded eventually.

 

“It was a beautiful leading group with strong riders,” Sports Director Frans Maassen said after the race. “They didn’t get the space we were expecting, though. It’s quite a miracle that they still went that far. That they got caught in the sprint is annoying of course.”

 

Lindeman was fed up.

 

“When we had less than 15 kilometres remaining, the road went slightly uphill again and it became narrower,” he said. “That’s when I thought that we still had a chance to make it. We were distancing others in front, so the pace was high. We worked well together in the final kilometres. With two kilometres to go, I heard that we only had eight seconds over the group. From that moment, I refused to look back and gave it all for the stage victory.”

 

The prevalent feeling after the race was disappointment.

 

“Yesterday, we already gave it all. We had a bad feeling about it because we didn’t make the leading group. Today, we have a bad feeling because Bert-Jan’s attack failed just before the finish.”

 

Cameron Meyer caught 50m from the line in Catalonia

The results sheet will say today's stage was just a regular bunch sprint finish, but the truth was that Cameron Meyer fell just 50 meters short of causing the upset. The Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider was part of the early 11 rider break that formed when our Australian attacked after 55km of racing.

 

Meyer was able to help drive the gap up to just over 5 minutes during the stage and the Aussie was clearly looking like one of the strongest riders on the day. Meyer was able to coax the other 10 riders into cooperating quite well in the early part of the race but closer to the finish, some of the other escapees weren't quite contributing equally.

 

In an attempt to up the pace and because the peloton was now only 2'00" behind, Meyer attacked from the break with 45km to go. 2 riders were dropped but the rest eventually came back to the African Team rider and started contributing to the pace setting again. With 20km to go, the writing seemed to be on the wall for the break as the peloton had them in sight.

 

Meyer did not give up though and convinced Petr Vakoc (Etixx-Quickstep), Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Rudy Molard (Cofidis) to come with him when they had just 15 seconds to play with for the final 10km. The quartet would hold on to their slight margin to lead under the 1km to go banner. This is where Meyer put in his final effort and attacked one last time. This courageous ride would leave Meyer just 50 meters short of victory as Cimolai and the rest of the pack came sprinting past him with the line just a tennis ball throws away.

 

“Our team plan was to have someone in the breakaway. I had suffered through the big mountains and was looking forward to today. I made a big effort all day and felt really good. Of course I am disappointed to get caught so close to the finish line but I guess that is bike racing and I will keep trying to get a victory. Our team has been in 4 breakaways this tour and shown ourselves up at the front of the race. We have just the one more stage tomorrow, finishing in Barcelona,” Meyer said.

 

Sports director Alex Sans Vega added:
 

“It was another crazy fast start. There was a bonus sprint after 10km and some GC guys wanted to sprint for these seconds so they kept the race together. After about 55km Cameron attacked with one other guy, then a few more came across to them a bit later to make the break for the day. When they reached their maximum lead of 5'30" Lampre started chasing. They rode well and kept options for the win right until the last meters. Cameron being caught just before the line was a real pity but he did a really great job. It was tough day with lots of wind on difficult roads so I am happy with the performance of the team.”

 

Kiel Reijnen overshoots corner, Ryder Hesjedal tests his form

Stage six of the Volta a Catalunya ended in a bunch sprint after the last remnants of an 11-man breakaway, that had contained Ryder Hesjedal, were swept up in the final meters. 

 

Kiel Reijnen was gearing up for the sprint when he overshot a 180-degree turn with three kilometers remaining. Although he clawed his way back to the front with help from the team, the effort cost him, and he finished in a disappointing 16th place.

 

"It was another super hard stage, even though it was supposed to be one for the sprinters," said Reijnen. "All the guys did a super good job looking after me, and that motivated me to stay in the front group when it split in the winds and with the short climbs.

 

"I was with Eugenio (Alafaci) in the final 10 kilometers, and with 3K to go there was a really tight turn and a lot of guys overshot it and went off the road, and, unfortunately, I was one of them. Then Haimar (Zubeldia) helped me to get back, but when you have to do an effort like that to get back to the front in the final kilometers, it's not so easy to sprint afterwards. It was disappointing to miss the opportunity, especially after the guys worked so hard for me."

 

Ryder Hesjedal was part of a breakaway that finally formed after over 60 kilometers was raced, showing there are no easy days in the seven-day World Tour event that is leaving a weary peloton after six days of punishing stages.

 

The breakaway built up a lead of over five minutes, but when the gap fell to two minutes, an attack split the eleven leaders. Hesjedal and one other fell off the pace while the remaining nine regrouped a few kilometers later.  

 

But it was the beginning of the end for the breakaway that continued to lose members as they raced to the finish, desperately trying to fend off the chasing peloton. 

 

Under the flamme rouge, the break was down to four men holding a precarious few seconds lead, and the peloton swarmed the final rider with less than 200 meters to go. Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida) won the bunch finish while the overall classification remained the same as the race heads into a tough final stage Sunday.

 

Trek-Segafredo director Alain Gallopin provided his insight of the race:

 

"It was a really fast start again, a big fight for over one hour. The peloton split into a few groups in the wind, and Ryder caught the good breakaway. It was good to have someone in the front to show we exist in this race. It is a very strong field, and we are not here with a strong team. 

 

"Ryder is on a plan to prepare for the Giro, so it was good to see him in the break – he is improving every day.  But we saw today, it was even too much for him, he is also tired. I think the breakaway made a mistake to attack each other too soon. If they stayed well-organized closer to the finish, they might have arrived ahead of the peloton. 

 

"Kiel also did what he could, we hoped top 10, top 5, but he's tired too. It's a very, very hard race here. I think tomorrow there will be a big, big explosion because I see a lot of very tired riders. I saw a lot of guys dropped in the finale today who looked tired on the bike."

 

Young German sprinter battles through illnes to top 20 in Catalonia.

Health problems caught up with the VERVA ActiveJet rider. After Jordi Simon withdrew earlier, Pawel Cieslik and Jonas Koch had a hard night. Both decided to be at the start, but Cieslik was not able to complete the stage and withdrew after 80 kilometers.

 

Impressively Koch finished 17th. 

 

“At night I did not feel well. I was sweating. I was afraid at the start of the stage, but ultimately it was not bad and in the end I tried to do the sprint. The result may not be sensational, but when I think about how I felt in the morning, I can be happy with the race,” said the German.

 

Axel Domont gets the nod from Bardet in Catalonia

"I joined the breakaway without it being the plan,” Axel Domont said. “The primary purpose of this stage was to protect Romain (Bardet). We were afraid of a sudden echelon with the cross wind. The second objective was to join a breakaway that had a good chance of going all the way.

 

“When I was there, I was not sure what to do. Romain was kind and told me to go. I found myself getting there with Romain Hardy with fifteen or twenty kilometers of chasing.

 

“I tried to recover, ride well and eat well. In the end, I really did not miss much to stay with the group. I know it's easy to say, but with my big effort to join the breakaway it did not give me an advantage! And the beginning of the stage was very hard!

 

“The legs are there, I am well which is more than reassuring. Tonight I'm still disappointed because I believed in it. There were big riders with me and I was still there in the end but the victory is not there.”

 

Nairo Quintana: Of course my rivals will try to attack me

The longest stage of the 2016 Volta a Catalunya – 197 km between Sant Joan Despí and Vilanova i la Geltrú – followed a winding although not excessively demanding route through the heart of the beautiful Penedés, a wine-producing area between the mountains and the Mediterranean. The Movistar Team riders worked methodically around their leader, Nairo Quintana. Dani Martin (OQS) took a 3” time bonus at the first intermediate sprint to move to within 18” of the race lead, but the telefónicos maintained their calm, helped by the local knowledge of Marc Soler.

 

The stage ended in a mass sprint which broke out at the very moment the peloton caught the remnants of the eleven-man breakaway group that shaped the stage. Of six survivors, the strongest two, Vakoc (EQS) and Lindeman (TLJ), even disputed the sprint, although it was Cimolai (LAM) who won the day. The Movistar Team riders, meanwhile, safely negotiated the dangers posed by crosswinds and surprise attacks, and now only tomorrow's eight circuits around Montjuïc stand between Nairo Quintana and victory. A year ago, Valverde won on the 'Magic Mountain'. Tomorrow, Quintana takes a 7" lead over Contador (TNK) into Barcelona, his sights set on the overall prize.

 

“The pace was pretty high yet again, but the team functioned extremely well during the stage,” Quintana said.” We were never in difficulty and we go into the final day full of desire and ambition.

 

“For Montjuïc we have very strong riders like Imanol [Erviti] or even Winner [Anacona], who know how to interpret the circuit and climb very well. We hope to finish the race without complications. I have no doubt that riders will be going on the attack to improve on their placings, but others will want to defend their positions too.

 

"Attacks by my rivals will certainly come, and they will be of concern, but I also think that the stage could end in a sprint so there will be teams wanting to chase in order to give their fast men a chance of victory.

 

”Tricky descents? Well, circuits are always tricky, but if you are at the front of the peloton, you can let the pace guide you and, provided you don't lose position, they are manageable."

 

Alberto Contador: The course is not really made for long-distance attacks

The Volta a Catalunya entered its penultimate day today. On a fast and windy course, the Tinkoff leader, Alberto Contador, maintained his hold on second place in the GC, seven seconds away from the lead. The Spanish rider was the first Tinkoff rider across the line in Vilanova i la Geltru, in 21st position.

 

The Volta a Catalunya’s longest stage covered an undulating 197.2km route. Two categorised climbs were ascended by the peloton, the third category Alt de la Madonna and the second category Alt de les Ventoses, small compared to the mountains earlier in the race. The racing was fast and furious, with Tinkoff driving the pace in the last 20km to catch the break.

 

As Sport Director, Steven De Jongh, summed up after the day’s racing, “It was actually a hard stage, fast and with quite a lot of wind so the bunch was splitting up quite a lot at times and you always had to be aware of the situation.”

 

An eleven man breakaway had formed earlier in the stage, building a large time gap over the peloton – the gap growing to five minutes before the chase began. With the possibility of bonus seconds up for grabs in the finish, the Tinkoff riders began pushing towards the front to close the break, driving a phenomenal pace. All coming down to the last few metres, the last rider of the breakaway was caught on the line.

 

De Jongh continued:

 

“The team kept Alberto close to the front when the pressure was on to the finish, and it sets up an interesting final day tomorrow. Unfortunately we lost Jesper Hansen this morning with fever so he couldn't start, meaning we were down to six, but the team did a really good job again of keeping Alberto out of trouble.”

 

The race is far from over however, Contador said from the finish.

 

"It's true Nairo Quintana is ahead but tomorrow we have a stage where a lot of things can happen. With Movistar and BMC attacking constantly today it was very difficult to control the race. However, I feel very satisfied with the way this year is proceeding.”

 

Tomorrow’s final stage starts and finishes in Barcelona. The Volta a Catalunya’s shortest stage, at 136.4km, takes in the Alt de Montjuic no fewer than eight times in a final circuit. With time bonuses waiting to be taken, the race is far from over. Ahead of the stage, Contador was keen to see how the race progressed on a route that meant the GC outcome was still not certain.

 

“We'll see what happens tomorrow. It is a demanding circuit and anything can happen. We will try our best but I think I won't be the only one. There are other riders that sit within a few seconds and tomorrow's stage will be agitated. It's a pity tomorrow's profile doesn't isn't adequate for attacks from earlier on. They don't have an extremely strong team and if we had the right race course we could mount an attack earlier. That will be very complicated tomorrow.”

 

After a string of races where both Contador and the team had ridden strongly, the Tinkoff leader was pleased with his form.

 

“I'm very happy with my condition and regardless of whether we win here or not, the preparation toward the Tour de France is moving ahead perfectly. I'm optimistic and very motivated about the Tour."

 

Miguel Angel Lopez builds form in Volta a Catalunya

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) crashed in the stage.

 

“I touched the wheel of another rider while we were doing a roundabout at high speed: just some small grazes and nothing serious. I’m ready for the last stage of this Volta Catalunya,” commented Lopez.

 

“This Catalunya has been a very hard race with long climbs and high average speed every day. My legs hurt a little bit but I think it is normal. It has been a very important step in my race season and I’m pretty confident for the next races, starting withPais Vasco. Then the key points of my season should be the Tour de Suisse and the Vuelta a Espana. Obviously we will have to check my conditions with my sport directors but I’m sure I should do good things along the year,” explained the Colombian climber.

 

Marco Minnaard makes up for GC disappointment in Catalonia break

Marco Minnaard featured in today's breakaway and fought hard in another high speed stage in Volta a Catalunya.

 

"I really enjoyed myself out there today and feel that I am getting better. The overall classification was my goal here this week but I just wasn't good enough in those two mountain stages. I am not happy with that but today felt great: very happy to be back at the front. Good for motivation and faith," the Dutchman reacted.

 

Sky: We have five strong riders for the final stage in Catalonia

Chris Froome defended his eighth position at the Volta a Catalunya on a fast and furious penultimate stage.

 

The team started the sixth day of action with five riders after Ben Swift picked up an overnight bug and joined Ian Boswell and Geraint Thomas as early abandonees.

 

Froome rolled home on the same time in 35th position in a large group that contained Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels, and all the overall contenders. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was also there to ensure he will take a seven-second lead over Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) into the concluding stage in Barcelona. Froome meanwhile, remains just 46 seconds adrift.

 

Back on the team bus, Sport Director Nicolas Portal admitted it had been a tough day in the saddle but insists there is still plenty to fight for on the final stage.

 

He told TeamSky.com: "It was a long and stressful stage today. Vasil [Kiryienka] tried a few times to get in the break and there was over an hour of attacks before the move went. Even then we couldn't relax though because it was very windy and the peloton could have split at any minute. 

 

"The GC teams didn't want to lose any time and the sprint teams obviously wanted to be there at the end, so everyone was fighting to stay near the front. 

 

"In the end, our riders stayed safe though, didn't lose any time, and it was all good at the finish.

 

"Tomorrow is another hard day and finishes with hilly circuit in the centre of Barcelona. Our goal is to defend Froomey's position but we could also have a few cards to play. We've got five strong guys left here and we will see how the race plays out."


Richie Porte and BMC ready to fight for the podium in Catalonia

The fact that Stage 6 of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya was the longest of the race at 197.2 kilometers didn’t stop the peloton from setting a fast and furious pace throughout the stage.

 

It came down to last 500m when the peloton finally caught the last survivors of an earlier breakaway, to set it up for a bunch sprint won by Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida).

 

Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen finished safely in the bunch to retain third and fifth respectively on the General Classification. BMC Racing Team maintain the lead in the team classification, 1’07 in front of Cannondale.

 

Heading into the final stage on Sunday, Sports Director Yvon Ledanois said the priority is keeping Porte on the podium and retaining the lead in the team classification.

 

“The race isn’t over until we cross the finish line in Barcelona tomorrow so we have to stay focused and strong on stage 7. Richie is in third place on GC with one second between he and Dan Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step) who is in fourth place, so the two intermediate sprints will be very important in deciding the final GC order. We’re prepared for a battle and of course we want to see Richie on the podium,” Ledanois said.

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