Adam Yates shines in Vallter while De Gendt resists
March 27 th 2019 - 19:58 [GMT + 1]
Vallter 2000/Setcases (Vall de Camprodon) 27-03-2019.- The world’s best climbers fought for victory in the 3rd stage of the “Volta” Ciclista a Catalunya, a crucial mountain day with an altitude finish in Vallter 2000/Setcases, after crossing Alt de Ganga (3rd category climb) and, in the final part of the stage, port d’ Oix and port de Rocabruna, both 1st category climbs. A very tight and well-fought final climb resulted in British rider Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) coming out on top, while Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) put up a good fight to keep the leader’s jersey.
Yates crossed the finish line followed by a group of top riders. The British cyclist was the fastest in the closing metres, where Egan Bernal (Team Sky) showed what made him win the last edition of the Paris-Nice in the key final climb; two former winners of the “Volta” like Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) and Miguel Ángel López (Astana), who was on the podium last year in the Giro and the Vuelta, proved that they were the best climbers on the day.
The group heads into tomorrow’s stage with a clear advantage over the rest of the favourites in the second finish at altitude, La Molina, in the 4th stage of the race, not excluding the options of the Belgian rider, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), who battled and managed to keep a 27 second lead over Yates and half a minute over the rest of the group. Meanwhile, world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), didn’t have his best day and suffered losing 2:19, accompanied by his team mate Marc Soler; he can probably say goodbye to his chances at a fourth victory in the Catalan centenary race.
His team was one of the ones that had worked hardest to catch up with today’s breakaway, a group of eleven riders: Dries Devenyns, Lennard Kämna, Bert-Jan Lindeman, François Bidard, Óscar Cabedo, Álvaro Cuadros (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) a top candidate for the KOM classification this year, just 2 points behind De Gendt, Sergio Samitier, and Pieter Weening (Roompot-Charles) who resisted the most in the day’s last climb, Maurits Lammertink, Anthony Delaplace and Bart De Clerq.
In the end, nothing could avoid a spectacular finish among the favourites in taking home the winner’s jersey with a victory by one of the Yates twins, who this time last year had a bad fall which hindered a promising season, in a stage of the “Volta” which finished in Camprodon.