Bewley spends day in break on stage two of Catalunya, Chaves remains on trackTue 24 Mar 2015
New Zealand’s Sam Bewley animated a wet and miserable day of racing at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, spending much of the 191.8km second stage in a front breakaway.
Meanwhile, Colombian Esteban Chaves finished safely on group time to remain in touch on general classification whilst Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) won a difficult uphill sprint for stage honours. Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) retained his overall lead.
After the success of yesterday’s escapees, ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Bewley was amongst four riders to try their luck for glory today.
“We knew the chance of a break going again was reasonable,” sport director Dave McPartland said. “We wanted to make sure we had someone in that move down the road today to take the pressure off Caleb (Ewan).”
“We weren’t going to chase now we know, after yesterday, that there are no other teams going to fully commit to sprint stages.
“We also lost two guys overnight so are down to just six and we have Chaves for general classification so we can’t smash the whole team every day.”
Unlike the peloton stand off on stage one, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, in defence of the lead, took the responsibility in controlling the move that also involved Tom Stamsnijder (Giant - Alpecin), Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre – Merida) and Lluis Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).
The gap hovered between three and four minutes from it’s early formation until it was eventually terminated with 15km to the finish.
“Once we knew the break was doomed with about 25km to go, we still had the dual objective of looking after Esteban but also helping Caleb if he was still there in the finish,” McPartland said.
“Caleb wasn’t on a good day, but just as importantly we are still working with him to adapt to this level of racing so there is no expectation and it is just as vital for him to go through the motions, understanding how this level of racing is.
“This is a tough race, and unfortunately for Caleb there are powerful general classification teams here putting in heavy workloads on the front to make the finales difficult.”
Tomorrow, the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya stage three starts and finishes in Girona, the town considered home by many of the ORICA-GreenEDGE family. The tough 156.6km stage features five classified climbs, including two category one ascents.