Breakaway riders survive on stage five Volta Ciclista Catalunya - Yates remains fifth overallFri 23 Mar 2018
Today's fifth and longest stage in Volta Ciclista Catalunya concluded with two breakaway riders surviving to the finish line, leaving the general classification remaining unchanged.
Tour of Poland stage winner Jack Haig was the highest placed finisher for Mitchelton-SCOTT in 14th place, with general classification contender Simon Yates remaining in fifth place overall with two stages remaining.
All day breakaway
The longest stage of the tour, 212kilometres from Llivia to Viehla - Val D’Aran saw a group of 12 riders breakaway inside the first 50kilometres of the stage. The escapees rode out to a maximum advantage of four minutes before two riders dropped and the peloton lifted the pace and started to reel the breakaway back in with just 20kilometres remaining.
Downhill to the finish
After all day riding in the breakaway, the group of 12riders were finally caught by the peloton inside the final 15kilometres. However, before the catch was made, unwilling to surrender back to the peloton, two riders, Jarlinson Pentane (Trek-Segafredo) and Vegard Laengen (UAD), took their chances attacking away from the group.
In a what proved to be an unpredictable finale, the two leaders hovered just 15seconds ahead of the hard chasing bunch, were Mitchelton-SCOTT were contributing to the chase. In the end it was too late and the duo survived to the line to claim the top two placings, just 10seconds ahead of the bunch.
Jack Haig - 14th place
“At the start of the day we were trying to put a rider in the breakaway, we started downhill for the first 50kilometres or so with a tailwind and a group of 12riders went and we missed someone in there. Then we decided not to ride until the very end until the final climb, and the idea was to set hard pace to make sure nobody got away and put Simon’s GC position in danger.”
“If we brought it back by setting a hard pace then we would be in a good situation hopefully with Daryl Impey to go for the stage.
"We knew if anyone got away on the final climb it would be hard to bring them back on the descent so we wanted to keep a high tempo. In the end, the descent was super fast and hard and the two riders were able to stay away to the finish.”
“Everyone has been riding super well, we tried hard the past days to get in the breakaway and it has been really hard racing each day. I think everyone in the team is going well and after these two hard days it seems the peloton are all on their hands and knees.”
“Today was a long and Catalunya is always a hard race but after the Valter stage was shortened, we raced it really hard and also yesterday we spent the first 100kilometres riding over 50kilometres per hour, so it has been a tough race but I am feeling pretty good and we will continue to race until the end.”
Volta Ciclista Catalunya stage five results:
1. Jarlinson Pentane (Trek-Segafredo) 5:20:52
2. Vegard Laengen (UAD) ST
3. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) +0:10
14. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:14
General classification after stage five:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 22:22:05
2. E Bernal (Team Sky) +0:16
3. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +0:265.
5. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:12
Photo courtesy of Getty Images