Hesitation learning curve on Catalunya stage fiveFri 27 Mar 2015
A moments hesitation has seen Colombian Esteban Chaves miss the key general classification move on stage five of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.
After taking a wrong turn in the finale, the 25-year-old finished just behind the second chase group for 30th position, one-minute 48seconds behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) who won his second stage of the Tour.
Chaves moved down one placing on general classification in 15th position whilst Australian Richie Porte (Team Sky) finished fourth on the stage to take the overall lead.
“The team rode really well all day but when we got to the crosswind section, the race split three times,” sport director Dave McPartland explained.
“The first two times we were in it and we had the whole team in it both times. But then we had a bit of hesitation on the climb as it split over the top and that little moment cost us and was the difference in us being in the front group and not being there.
“On paper it hasn’t changed a lot but it probably wasn’t what we were hoping for today. On a positive note, it was another experience to learn from, particularly for Esteban.”
It took 50km for today’s initial move to break free – Jan Polanc, Calvin Watson (Trek Factory Racing) and Yoann Bagot (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) combining out in front.
After over 100km of racing the trio pushed their lead out to a maximum of five minutes, before the peloton began to react and eat into the advantage.
With Porte in second overall, Team Sky laid on the pressure in the crosswinds at the front of the chasing peloton, causing the race to split.
With 40km left to race the break’s day was over and a select group formed at the front. Race leader Bart De Clercq missed out and despite assistance from teammates continued to lose time, ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Chaves also missed the front group settling into the second of many chase groups along the road.
Attacks from the front group began on the final climb of the day, before Valverde made his successful move on the descent into the finish for a solo victory.