Impey sprints to 4th in Volta Ciclista a Catalunya as Yates stays safe & maintains 2nd overall

Fri 29 Mar 2019

South African champion Daryl Impey sprinted in to fourth place today for Mitchelton-SCOTT as a solo rider did enough to hold off the chasing peloton and steal the stage five victory.

After spending all the day in the breakaway, Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) decided to attack with 10kilometres to go and successful held off a hard chase by the peloton to win the stage by just 13seconds.

The team’s general classification hopeful and stage three winner Adam Yates stayed safe throughout the stage and maintains his second place overall.

Four form the front of the race

After two hard mountain stages the peloton welcome a slightly 'flatter' day from Puigcerda to Sant Cugat del Valles. With a first category climb to start the stage, four riders were given a little freedom and broke away but never given more than a three minute advantage.

Andrey Amador (Movistar), Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Bert-jan Lindeman (Jumbo-Visma) and Tejay Van Garderen (UAE) animated the majorty of the stage, the longest day of the tour.

The steady chase before the final

With 2766 altitude metres to climb in 188kilometres it was still a tough day out and the breakaway continued to work hard to stay ahead of the peloton where the pace began to picke up.

With 20km to go it was Bahrain-Merida who led the inital chase but soon after Schachmann picked his moment and attacked away from the other three breakaway riders with 10kilometres to go and lead the race solo.  

Peloton vs one leader

Team Sunweb sensed the danger and led the chase behind, with Mitchelton-SCOTT towards the front and riding to keep Yates and Impey safe. 

With two kilometres to go Schachmann led by just 20seconds and it was touch and go if he could stay away or not. Schachmann was able to hold on to take the stage win with Impey sprinting to fourth behind.

With just two stages remaining, Yates holds second place overall just 14seconds down on the race leader Miguel Angel Lopez (Team Astana). 

Daryl Impey

"It was a tough day in general but we kept calm and our main ambitions in tact and I feel like I have bounced back well from the crash yesterday.

"Our main goal today was to look after Adam and then if the sprint for the win was there it was a bonus. At the end Schachmann put in a super ride and the best legs won.

"We committed at the end because we saw there may be an opportunity for the stage but it wasn't to be but the team showed great commitment. Would have been nice to podium but my countryman got me on the throw for third place."

Julian Dean - Sport Director

“Our prime objective for the day was to keep Adam protected and deliver him to the finish safely and the stage was a second priority for us. It looked like Sunweb came up a bit short there at the finish but we also rode at the front in the final to primary keep Adam out of trouble and potentially finish off the work of Sunweb and did Daryl the opportunity to sprint for the stage.

“Until Barcelona our priority will be to protect Adam but still look for stage wins if it comes our way. Tomorrow will be a little bit harder and more of an aggressive race I think. Today was also a bit harder than we predicted and there’s certainly signs of fatigue showing in the peloton. It doesn’t look too hard on paper tomorrow but I think it will be when it comes down to it.”

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya Stage 5 Results:

1. Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 4:25:45
2. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) +0:13
3. Ryan Gibbons (Team dimension-Data) ST
4. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

General Classification after Stage 5:

1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Team Astana) 21:57:05
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:14
3. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +0:25

Photos courtesy of Getty Images