Fast Finale to Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in Barcelona25. March 2018, Barcelona (ESP) — Road Team
Barcelona set the stage for a fast and furious finale to Volta Ciclista a Catalunya today with the traditional finishing circuit providing riders, and spectators alike, with an exciting afternoon of racing.
The peloton wasted no time on stage 7, setting a fierce pace from the moment the flag dropped and neutralizing all of the early breakaway attempts over the first half of the race which included two categorized climbs.
There were more attacks as the road began to level out heading back into the center of the city and at the start of the first of eight laps of the 6.6km finishing circuit, which all included the category 3 Alt de Montjuïc climb, eight riders sat just 30 seconds ahead of the main bunch.
The action started to heat up inside 40km to go with Nicolas Roche having a dig at the front of the peloton and drawing the field out into single file.
With the pace high and the gap to the front group never reaching beyond 30 seconds there was an almost constant reshuffling at the front of the race.
An attack from race leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) saw the race explode with groups of riders spread out all across the road with just three laps to go.
As the bell rang to mark the start of the final lap, four riders were sitting at the head of the race with the first chase group less than ten seconds back and the next group, which included Roche, Tejay van Garderen, Danilo Wyss and Brent Bookwalter, only another ten seconds behind.
A tense finale saw Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) going solo inside 4km to go and at the flamme rouge he was still sitting 20 seconds ahead of the first chaser which proved to be enough to see him take the stage win.
In the end, van Garderen crossed the line alongside Wyss and Bookwalter in a group around 1’40” back and he eventually finished inside the top twenty on the General Classification, 2’56” behind Valverde.
Quotes From the Finish Line
Tejay van Garderen:
“I did my best considering I came into the race injured. I fought every day, and gave it my all. In the end, I need to be happy with that, and try to get healthy and fit for the next race.”
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“I think we have to be happy with what we did at this race. We tried every day and the team worked well together but it was not easy. However, the guys all leave the race in good health and we saw Tejay get better and better every day after his crash.”
Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
Stage 7: Barcelona > Barcelona, 154.8km
Top 3: 1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 2. Marc Soler (Movistar Team) 3. Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 35. Danilo Wyss 65. Tejay van Garderen 66. Brent Bookwalter
Top 3 on GC: 1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) 2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) 3. Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale)
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 17. Tejay van Garderen 36. Brent Bookwalter 71. Nicolas Roche