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"Our advantage was always around two minutes and I didn't believe we would stay away but just before the last climb we had a difference of 4 minutes and then I had no choice: do my best and see where I would end."

Photo: ANSA / DAL ZENNARO - PERI

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28.03.2015 @ 20:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Aged only 21 and with just 21 days of racing in the pro scene, Marc Soler (Movistar Team) has proven to be more than ready for the challenge of WorldTour racing. The Vilanova-based rider, really close to home roads today during stage six of the Volta a Catalunya - 194km between Cervera and Port Aventura - shone in a big break of 21 riders never gaining more than three minutes of advantage before the last climb of the day, the Alt de Coll Roig (3ª). There, several attacks reduced the field and increased the escapees' gap, while some of the telephone squad's riders protected Alejandro Valverde as the break seemed set to contest the win.

 

Soler's enormous efforts before the last 10km became intelligence at the end, saving energy for a single key acceleration. That came with just over 1km remaining, when he closed an almost decisive gap for Frenchman Julien Alapphilippe (EQS), later missing out on a sprint where he was fourth as winner Sergei Chernetski (KAT) and former race leader Maciej Paterski (CCC) overcame him. Alejandro Valverde also sits in 4th overall, 16" behind Richie Porte (SKY) as the eight laps of the Montjuïc mountain decide the 95th Volta on Sunday.

 

"We knew we had to be vigilant in the first kilometers, always having a rider there if a large group got away, and I could join the move," Soler said. "Our advantage was always around two minutes and I didn't believe we would stay away but just before the last climb we had a difference of 4 minutes and then I had no choice: do my best and see where I would end. I had it most difficult just after the descent, with crosswind. It cost me a lot. Therefore it was very difficult in the end, also due to the high level of the break and because the last kilometer, although it seemed to be very fast, was really long. I was trying to stay ahead but it wasn't to be.

 

"I have been working a lot these days, but I also have fun when I head in the the earpiece that my leader, in this race Valverde, has won twice. It was a shame he crashed because he would probably be leading if not for that incident. Tomorrow will surely be complicated in Montjuïc, with such a strong rival as Porte, but both Alejandro and my teammates will work hard to try to finish as high as possible.

 

"For now I'm feeling very well; I hope to continue to improve in the coming weeks. In recent months I have adapted to the longer distances and the speed and have built racing form. In the amateur ranks where I come from, the races are crazy, no one controls, everybody attacks. In principle, I have the Vuelta a La Rioja scheduled for next week, but the team always look at it from day to day, making sure I am comfortable and keep my pace, step by step."

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