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"We had no big result today but we were present on the final with Caruso and Trofimov. It’s bad luck that Losada had to stay behind today. He has stomach problems and could barely eat this morning."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele




26.03.2015 @ 20:30 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The only summit finish in the 95th Volta a Catalunya came on Thursday’s stage 4, a difficult day of climbing into the ski area of La Molina. Team Katusha riders stayed in close contact with the top riders on the stage with Giampaolo Caruso and Iurii Trofimov the best on the team in 18th and 23rd positions.


“We had no big result today but we were present on the final with Caruso and Trofimov. It’s bad luck that Losada had to stay behind today. He has stomach problems and could barely eat this morning. Also Silin was involved in a crash in a descent with Lastras who ended up with a pelvis fracture, but Silin is ok, although his bike was badly damaged. It was a hard stage immediately from the start,” said team director Xavier Florencio to the Katusha website.


An attack with 4 km to go put BMC’s Tejay van Garderen in the driver’s seat with the American rider able to hold off Richie Porte (Sky) by a slim 3-seconds and Alberto Contador by eight after just over five hours of racing. With race leader Pierre Rolland (Europcar) suffering on the climb, the leader’s jersey moved onto the back of Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal) by 21- and 26-seconds to Porte and Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) in second and third places. 


The GC contenders are now within striking distance of the top of the podium, finally eating into the large two minute gap created on Monday’s opening stage. The 188 km stage 4 began in Tona and after three earlier climbs, ended atop the category 1 climb to La Molina. An early break of five riders gave way to two, but on the lower slopes of the final climb, all the racing action came from the GC riders still chipping away at the race.


Both Richie Porte and Alberto Contador showed fighting spirit on today’s climbing stage, but it was van Garderen’s effort in the final that proved to be the winning move. Racing continues Friday in the northeastern region of Spain as the Volta a Catalunya begins stage 5 in Alp, descends for 80 km before encountering rolling terrain and finally climbs before the finish line in Valls. The stage is 195,4 km. General classification riders will look to dethrone De Clercq before the weekend stages.



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