Adam Yates remains second overall after consecutive mountain stages at Catalunya

Thu 28 Mar 2019

Yesterday’s stage winner Adam Yates has retained second overall at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya after another day mixing it with the premier climbers in the world.

Yates finished in a select group 18seconds down on Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) who won the stage and moved into the overall lead.  The Briton now sits 14seconds down on the Colombian in the overall standings. 

A dynamic, big move at the front:
After an initial four-rider move was nullified, it was clear there were a lot of teams interested in today’s breakaway.  The next move was more dangerous, with 25 riders forming at the front of the race, including Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Daryl Impey and Tsgabu Grmay.

They grew their lead out to over five minutes before Team Sky started to increase the pace behind. The reaction sparked more action at the front and the breakaway attacked each other to create smaller groups, that changed on a number of occasions, at the head of the race.

All down to the final climb:
Two leaders held a two-minute lead of the chasing bunch as the race entered the final 10kilometres and began to navigate the final ascent of La Mollina.

Team Sky set a furious pace which shelled much of the bunch and left around a dozen riders left in contention.

More attacks saw that group disintegrate even further as four climbers, including Yates, seemed stronger than the rest and they continued in pursuit of the two leaders which sat 50seconds ahead with a little under seven kilometres remaining.

A second attack by Lopez proved the breaking point, after the first was nullified, and despite Simon Yatesre-joining his brother to assist with the chase, they were unable to recapture the Colombian to bridged and then dropped the two remaining breakaway riders to take the victory.  

Adam Yates:
“It was another good day. There was a big break today and we had both Impey and Tsgabu in there just in case anything kicked off early so they could be help out in the deep final. In the end once Sky started riding a hard tempo it all came back together quite quickly.

“The rest of the guys rode super to keep me out of the wind and then set me up perfectly for the final circuits.

In the final, I was feeling pretty good but a bit like yesterday there was some games being played and Lopez managed to jump off the front and steal some seconds. It was good to have Simon there to ride in the final as well, otherwise the gap might have blown out because none of us were cooperating that well.

“As we said from the beginning this race is not over until Barcelona so we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the next few days.”

Julian Dean – Sport Director:
“Adam did really well, he raced smart and didn’t overreact.  I think Lopez was just on a better day than everyone else today, but Adam was certainly in amongst it and rode a really good race. 

“It wasn’t really the plan or necessary for us to have people in the break but it certainly gives you that ounce of confidence and it was a credit to the guys that they took the initiative when that big move went.

“It was good to see that final push from Simon to help Adam on the final climb. We have seen improvements through this race, and I’m sure that will continue through the rest of this week as his continues to prepare for the Giro.  

“There’s a few teams that haven’t done anything here so we expect to see an aggressive approach from here on in. There’s not a lot of opportunities to take time back, but certainly there has always been changes in the GC on the last day in Barcelona. It’s not over until we cross the line in Barcelona.” 

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya – Stage 4 Results:
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) 4:02:07
2. Gregor Muhlbeger (BORA-Hansgrohe) +0:16
3. Marc Soler (Movistar Team) +0:16
5. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:16

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya – General Classification after Stage 4:
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) 17:31:05
2. Adam Yates(Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:14
3. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) +0:17

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.