Adam Yates steals the victory on the Queen stage at the Volta a la ValencianaSat 9 Feb 2019
Briton Adam Yates has claimed an impressive stage victory on the tough Queen stage at the Volta a la Valenciana today, his first victory of the season and the second win of the tour for Mitchelton-SCOTT.
Yates timed his effort to perfection up the steep slopes to the Ermita Santa Lucía, getting the better of world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Pello Bilbao (Astana) to take the seventh victory of the 2019 season for the men’s team.
Trio animate the day
It was Team Dimension-Data who controlled the breakaway for most of the day until other teams decided to join in with the workload, including Mitchelton-SCOTT, with around 40km to go to draw back the escapees ahead of the final climb.
The day’s effort took its toll and three leaders started to split up on approach to the final climb, with Silvan Dillier (AG2R) remaining ahead, fighting on to maintain a gap of two minutes over the peloton.
With the chase constantly picking up speed behind, by the time Dillier entered the bottom of the climb with just 3.5km to go, his gap had dropped to just 30seconds and shortly after the catch was made by the quickly reducing bunch.
Yates paces his effort
Having ridden the climb before at the 2017 Vuelta a España, the attacks began early but Yates bided his time until 1.5kilometres to go when he launched a move and forced more riders to drop off the testing pace.
Conquering 20% sections, Yates had enough left to continue to push on, leading the small surviving group before attacking again up the brutal stopes inside the final 500m, crossing the line ahead of the current world champion to claim his first win of the season.
“We wanted it all to come together for the finish and for the break not to stay away. Dimension-Data actually did a pretty good job of controlling the break and it was only in the final we had to put some guys at front to close the gap.
“The run in was always tricky, I’ve done it before at the Vuelta a España so I knew how tricky it was. I knew how steep the climb was and I just had to pace my effort and that’s what I did.
“It feels good, I’ve had a really good off-season, I’ve been really consistent with my training and doing everything correct and it just goes to show when you commit like that everything comes together so it is a really good feeling.”
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana - Stage 4:
1. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 4:54:57
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) ST
3. Pello Bilbao (Astana) +0:02
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana - General Classification:
1. Ion Izaguirre (Astana) 14:18:27
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 0:07
3. Pello Bilbao (Astana) ST
7. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:33
Photos courtesy of Getty Images