Wyss Sprints to Eighth After Snow Shortens Stage 6 in Catalunya24. March 2018, Torrefarrera (ESP) — Road Team
Just 24 hours after putting in a strong performance in the breakaway and sprinting to fifth on stage 5, Danilo Wyss was back in the thick of the action in Catalunya securing his second top ten finish in as many days.
Snow in Vielha saw stage 6 of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya shortened with the first 77.2km, as well as the first two categorized climbs, of the original 194.2km course cut out and the start line moved to La Pobla de Segur.
Despite heavy rain greeting the riders the moment they reached KM 0, the race started quickly with the peloton going at full speed in the opening section of the race before allowing a two-rider breakaway to go clear.
As the leaders reached the summit of the Port d’Ager, their advantage was sitting at around four minutes however the peloton soon regained control with teams looking to set up a bunch sprint when the race reached the finish line less than 70km later.
The gap had fallen to 2’15” with 30km to go before an increase in pace at the front of the bunch combined with the wind on an exposed section of road saw echelons begin to form.
Just 10km later, the first part of the peloton, which included all six BMC Racing Team riders, had cut into the leaders’ advantage by one minute and it looked like the catch was inevitable.
However, the leading duo was still holding onto an advantage of 30 seconds with 5km to go and while the first part of the peloton was chasing hard behind, they were able to hold them off with Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) taking the win ahead of Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH).
Wyss was well-positioned heading onto the finishing straight and was right in the mix when the sprint for the minor places was launched, eventually crossing the line eighth.
The rest of BMC Racing Team finished safely in the main part of the peloton and after being protected by his teammates all day, Tejay van Garderen remains 13th on the General Classification, 1’30” behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), heading into tomorrow’s final stag
Quotes From the Finish Line
"It was really cold at the start and it was a really good decision of the race organizers to take the two climbs out at the start of the race. I think if they had been kept in it would have been too risky with the cold weather and snow."
"It was quite a good speed all day and the breakaway arrived just ahead of us. I had some good help from Nico leading up to the sprint and finished sixth in the bunch. I felt a bit tired after yesterday but overall it was another good stage for me"
"There was a bit of crosswind near the end and with the high speed in the rain, the peloton split. But, we were all able to stay in the first part of the peloton around Tejay so that was good for us."
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
"It was a very fast start. Everybody wanted to try and go in the breakaway and our guys also tried to jump in before the two riders went clear. After that, it was really Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team who were controlling the race. We then came to the climb and the peloton split slightly with the pace but it came back together again before we saw another explosion on an exposed section of road with crosswinds. We had everyone in the first part of the bunch which was good to see. From then, it was Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team and Mitchelton-SCOTT who were trying to pull back the leaders for a bunch sprint but they were strong enough to survive."
"It was really cold this morning with snow at the start and with the profile of the first 50km, it was the right decision to shorten the race and in the end, the right amount was cut out as we saw a really good race today."
Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
Stage 6: La Pobla de Segur > Torrefarrera, 117km
Top 3: 1. Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) 2. Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH) 3. Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 8. Danilo Wyss 17. Nicolas Roche 23. Joey Rosskopf