Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana: Van Avermaet Retains Yellow Jersey on Stage 33. February 2017, Riba-Roja de Turia (ESP) — Road Team
A top ten finish for Greg Van Avermaet on Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 3 secured his place as leader of the General Classification for a second day when the race heads into tomorrow’s queen stage.
A breakaway of six riders distanced themselves from the peloton early into Stage 3, but their lead was kept under tight control and never allowed to extend beyond 4 minutes.
With BMC Racing Team working alongside the sprinters’ teams, the gap began to fall steadily, and as the race reached the halfway mark, the breakaway was holding an advantage of just over two minutes.
The speed of the peloton combined with high winds saw the bunch stretched out across the road as they chased down the remaining breakaway rider.
With 13km to go, the race was back together, and the peloton charged towards the previously predicted bunch sprint. Greg Van Avermaet was in the mix at the front of the race, but a sharp, final corner made it a tough battle for the line and eventually it was Magnus Cort Neilsen (Orica-Scott) who took the win.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Greg Van Avermaet:
“With the wind today I think everyone was feeling pretty nervous. We controlled the race for most of the day and so it was a really hard day for us. In the end I wanted to do a good sprint for the guys but unfortunately I wasn’t in the best position. It was a hectic finale with a technical finishing straight so while it was a bit risky, I wanted to give it a go. You never know, you might end up being the first guy across the line. I am happy to keep the yellow jersey for another day but I know that it will be hard for me to defend the lead with tomorrow ’s steep finish.”
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“Today, the difficulty was definitely the wind. It was really strong and after only 30km, there was a lot of nerves in the group with everyone trying to keep their position. We were able to be at the front of the peloton and control the lead of the breakaway and I was impressed with how the team stayed together and defended the jersey. We tried to help set Greg up but in the end it was it was a kamikaze sprint. It was really difficult to organize and risky at the end so I am really happy that everyone crossed the line safe. Tomorrow is a big day, with a steep final climb, so we will do our best to defend this jersey and try to finish with the best possible result.”
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
Stage 3: Canals > Riba-Roja de Turia, 161km
Top 3: 1. Magnus Cort Neilsen (Orica-Scott) 2. Nacer Bouhanni (Team Cofidis) 3. Bryan Coquard (Team Direct Energie)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 9. Greg Van Avermaet 21. Ben Hermans 29. Manuel Senni
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.