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"I attacked the group pretty early - about 150 km before the finish. Then I was up with another guy. We kept going hard. But then we had a big, long section with headwind and this wasn't good," Burghardt says

Photo: Sirotti




29.03.2014 @ 13:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having already sprinted to two top 10 results in the opening stages of the race, Marcus Burghardt continued his great showing at the Volta a Catalunya when he made it into the day's breakaway in yesterday's fifth stage. With Steven Kruijswijk too dangerous for the GC riders, the break never worked well together but Burghardt showed that he is ready to play a key support role for Philippe Gilbert in the Ardennes.


Marcus Burghardt starred in the breakaway Friday for the BMC Racing Team at Volta a Catalunya while teammate Tejay van Garderen finished in the peloton to hold onto his third place overall with two days to go. 

Traveling from Llanars to Valls, the longest stage of the race – 218.2 kilometers – featured only one categorized climb, which came in the final 20 kilometers.

A furious pace meant the day's breakaway did not slip the peloton until more than 55 km were covered. Burghardt was joined by seven others and the escapees would eventually spend more than 135 km in the lead before being caught by the chasing efforts of the Cannondale Pro Cycling and Lampre-Merida teams with 27 km to go.

After two days of mountain-top finishes, the flat run-in catered to the sprinters, with Stage 1 and 2 winner Luka Mezgec (Team Giant-Shiimano) winning for a third time. Julian Alaphilippe (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) was second and Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) completed the podium.

With no changes at the top of the general classification, Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Team Katusha) kept the overall lead, four seconds ahead of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and seven seconds ahead of van Garderen.

"It was a long day," Burghardt said. "The race started pretty fast because everyone was trying to be in the break. I managed to be in a good break but unfortunately there was a guy sitting three or four minutes off the GC. So there was no reason to ride.


"I attacked the group pretty early – about 150 km before the finish. Then I was up with another guy. We kept going hard. But then we had a big, long section with headwind and this wasn't good. So we had to push hard and lost a lot of time in this section."

"Our objective this morning was the same – to protect Tejay on the GC," sports director Yvon Ledanois said. "But I also asked Marcus and Martin (Kohler) and Larry (Warbasse) to get in the breakaway if they had the chance, because it was possible for them to go to the finish. But there was a Belkin rider in there who was 3:34 off the lead. It was not dangerous, but for this breakaway it was not good.


"On the approach to the finale, I asked Samuel (Sánchez), Darwin (Atapuma) and Peter (Stetina) to be with Tejay on the last climb and the downhill. Tejay has the legs and has recovered very well from yesterday. It is perfect for tomorrow."

Saturday's penultimate stage is 172 km from El Vendrell to Vilanova i la Geltrú, with only one categorized climb and a downhill run to the finish.


You can read our preview of stage 6 here and follow our live coverage at 15.15 CET on



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