Another third place for Impey on the penultimate stage of Volta Ciclista a CatalunyaSat 30 Mar 2019
South African champion Daryl Impey sprinted to another third place finish today on the penultimate stage of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in what was a chaotic sprint finish into Vila-Seca.
Despite coming close but not taking the stage victory, the team finish the stage satisfied, keeping general classification hopeful Adam Yates safe throughout the day and maintaining his second place overall ahead of tomorrow’s important final short stage in Barcelona.
The day’s main breakaway
At the start of the day, five-riders took their chances and broke away from the peloton. With two, third category climbs to conquer, the peloton stayed attentive and didn’t allow the leaders an advantage of more than three minutes.
The escapees remained ahead and it wasn’t until the final 30kilometres, when their lead finally dropped to within striking distance, just over minute in front of the fast chasing bunch.
A crash and a busy final
With 14kilometres to go Simon Yates was involved in a crash but thankfully got back up and was able to continue and finish the stage without any concern.
Shortly after, after a rapid chase the five breakaway riders were finally swallowed up and the stage looked set for another bunch sprint with Team Sunweb doing most of the work at the front.
The main priority
With Adam Yates sitting in second place Mitchelton-SCOTT continued with their main goal of keeping the Brit safe with Impey able to take his opportunity in the final as the day came down to a sprint.
Unfortunatley for Impey, lead-out man Dion Smith suffered a puncture in the final and was unable to assist with the sprint.
With five kilometres to go Movistar Team and then Astana Pro Team took over at the front of the bunch, surprising the peloton by setting a blistering pace, which forced the peloton to string out in one long line, which also caused some time gaps on the finish line.
Impey stayed in contention for the stage victory but just came up short in the final 100metres and had to settle for third spot.
Mitchelton-SCOTT and Yates head to tomorrow’s final battle just 14seconds down on the race leader Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team).
"Today was probably the easiest stage in terms of terrain but it was pretty stressful and we were basically on the pedals all day trying to hold our position. Personally I would have liked to walk away with a stage win but I am glad I have been around the mark all week, it was a shame we lost Dion to a puncture in the final as we have been working really well this week and having him there in the final today might have changed things for me.
"We came here aiming to podium and win a stage, we have already won our stage, now we will just put all our effort into Adam and hopefully win the overall or worst case protect our podium place."
Julian Dean - Sport Director
“There wasn’t too much for us to do, just keeping Adam safe was the main objective and try to not use to much energy for the guys to try and prepare for tomorrow’s stage. That will be our last opportunity.
“In the final there the guys tried to keep Adam up the front and that also gave Daryl the opportunity to finish up third which is always good to keep the team meal afloat a bit.
“Simon is fine, he just had a bit of a touch down and had to have a bike change but there’s no significant other issues other than that.”
Volta Ciclista a Catalunya - Stage 6 Results:
1. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) 3:56:36
2. Phil Bauhaus (Team Bahrain-Merida) ST
3. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General Classification after Stage 6:
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) 25:53:41
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:14
3. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) +0:17
Photos courtesy of Getty Images