Matthews proves to be the fastest, this time in Vila-seca
March 30 th 2019 - 19:36 [GMT + 1]
Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) proved again that he is the fastest man in the 99th edition of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, winning the peloton sprint in the sixth stage in a very tight finish just ahead of German rider Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Merida). Matthews prevailed after a 169.1-kilometre long stage that started in front of the Sports Hall named after Xavi Tondo in Valls and finished in Vila-Seca. It is the Australian’s second victory in this year’s Volta after crossing the line in first position in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, in the second stage.
Once again, in the first section of the day’s circuit, the riders set a high pace, riding through the roads of Les Garrigues, where a breakaway of five riders got together: Floris de Tier (Jumbo-Visma), Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r La Mondiale), Josef Cerny (Team CCC), Mikel Iturria (Euskadi-Murias) and Oscar Riesebeek (Roompot-Charles). The Basque rider –Mikel Iturria– eventually dropped out of the group in the final section.
This time, unlike in the fifth stage, the work from the sprinters’ teams paid off: Dimension Data, Bahrain-Merida and Mitchelton-Scott also did their bit at the front of the peloton to offset the breakaway’s work on the roads of the Costa Daurada. The run-up to the sprint was frantic with several falls and a solo attack from Brice Feillu (Arkea-Samsic), but nothing could be done to avoid a mass finish.
The spectator-filled streets of Vila-seca witnessed a very tight and hard-fought sprint which was decided with a photo finish, where Matthews asserted himself as a world-class rider earning a second victory on Catalan soil.
The general classification, which is still in the hands of the winner in La Molina Miguel Ángel López (Astana), remains the same for tomorrow’s final stage, which will consist of 143.1 kilometres finishing with eight loops of the challenging Montjuïc circuit to round off this year’s edition of the “Volta”. The circuit could play a decisive role in the podium and general classification, as the Colombian rider only has a 14-second advantage over Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and 17 over Egan Bernal (Team Sky).