Impey wins the penultimate stage in Volta Catalunya & helps Yates move up overallSat 25 Mar 2017
South African time trial champion Daryl Impey sprinted to victory on today’s penultimate stage in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.
After 30kilometres of racing the peloton saw significant splits with some of the race favourites missing out.
Impey selflessly rode to make sure the group stayed away to help Adam Yates move up in the overall classification to fourth, before trying to recover enough to contest the reduced bunch sprint.
“It was an interesting day today with the splits,” Impey explained. “We had quite a few guys in the front and in the end it was such a reduced front group.”
“I was just happy to have the legs for the sprint because I rode quite hard early on. We moved Yates up overall so to get the win on top of that is fantastic.
“Going into today’s stage I didn’t think I would have a good chance but the team rode so well.
“We knew it would be hard to drop the sprinters today but we had numbers in the front, Carlos Verona was doing strong turns so I am happy to finish it off with a win.”
Impey, Yates, Verona and Damien Howson successfully made it into the front group and worked hard to make sure the race did not come back together, displaying great teamwork and determination.
“Today was obviously a great day for us to move up in the overall classification and also win the stage,” sport director Neil Stephens said. “It is a big step for the team and it sums up the team spirit.”
“We had staff come and recon the stage, we knew it was a good stage and a potential stage for Daryl.
“The most important thing for us this week was to look after Yates’ overall chances, so Daryl really sacrificed himself in the early parts of the stage to try and keep the group away.
“In the final part of the stage, we said to Daryl to back off and try and recover, he said he was pretty tired but would still give it a go and that just shows the spirit of this team.”
How it happened:
After a tough summit finish yesterday the action kicked off once again on stage six. The first categorised climb of the day came after 25kilometres and saw significant splits within the peloton.
A group of 53 riders quickly gained time on the second chase group, with favourites such as Chris Froome (Team Sky) caught out and in the second group.
Yates, Howson, Verona Impey successfully made it into the front group and their sizeable group’s advantage grew out to five minutes 40seconds with 70kilometres remaining.
Over two third category climbs and a first category, the Alt de Musara, the leading group rapidly extended their advantage to over 14minutes and reduced down from 53riders to just 28.
The small bunch barrelled down the mountain and towards the stage finish in Reus, where Impey managed to recover enough to sprint to victory for ORICA-SCOTT.
Volta Ciclista a Catalunya stage six results:
1. Daryl Impey (ORICA-SCOTT) 4:34:14
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) ST
3. Arthur Vichot (FDJ) ST
General classification after stage six:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 22:18:35
2. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) +0:53
3. Marc Soler (Movistar) +1:06
4. Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +1:21
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com