Second for Simon Yates on a shortened stage in Volta Ciclista Catalunya as Adam Yates crashes outWed 21 Mar 2018
Paris-Nice stage winner Simon Yates sprinted to second place on a shortened third stage today in Volta Ciclista Catalunya.
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) took the stage victory and moved into the overall race lead after attacking away from the breakaway and holding off the chase for a solo win.
It was looking good for Yates to put time into some of the general classifcation contenders after breaking away with three other riders in the final 10kilometres, but in the end the chasing group rejoined to finish on the same time as the British GC hopeful.
Brother Adam Yates was unfortunatly unable to finish the stage after crashing hard with one kilometre remaining.
Due to adverse weather conditions with cold and snow in the mountains, today’s stage three was reduced from 199kilometres to 154kilometres with an amended finish in Camprodon, which meant missing out the tough climb up to Valter 2000.
Forcing the pace on the climbs
Like in yesterday’s stage, Mitchelton-SCOTT used their strengths with a team stacked full of climbers to set the tempo on the main climbs of the day.
After a breakaway of five riders hovered around three minutes ahead of the peloton for most of the day, with 50kilometres to go on the first category climb, the Australian outfit set a high tempo and gradually began to draw back the leaders, which reduced down from five riders to just three.
On the final climb of the day, De Gendt dropped his remaining breakaway companions and opened up his lead over the peloton. With just 10kilometres remaining it looked good for De Gendt as his advantage continue to remain one and half minutes ahead of the peloton, until four riders, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) Thibaut Pinaut (FDJ) Mattias Frank (AG2R) and Yates attacked away from the bunch and charged towards the solo leader.
Holding his distance, De Gendt was able to take a solo win with Yates taking the sprint for second place, just ahead of the peloton, which rejoined the four in the final metres of the stage.
Daryl Impey remains in third place on the general classification with Yates taking six seconds at the finish line to move up to fourth place, both at 29seconds behind.
Adam Yates out of the race
With just one kilometre remaining, Adam Yates was caught up in a crash and landed heavily on his back. Unfortunately the Brit was unable to finish the stage and went directly to hospital for further checks.
Dave McPartland - Sport Director
“Adam crashed just one kilometre from the finish, we tried to get him to ride to the finish but he couldn’t. He hit his back on the curb and he tried to stand up but had to sit down again and had a lot of pain in his pelvic. He has gone to hospital now for checks.”
“Simon had an awesome ride to finish second, but obviously we missed out on the stage win, that isn’t our priority here, the priority is the GC but at one point it looked like he would put time into Valverde’s group but unfortunatly it didn’t and the group came back just at the finish.”
“At least Simon took six seconds at the finish, it was a hard fought six seconds but maybe that could be crucial later in the week.”
“We are still in a good place and have options to still make it a hard race. After they cut out the hardest part of the stage upto Valter 2000, we have to look at the positives to still come second on the this stage.”
Volta Ciclista Catalunya stage three results:
1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) 4:14:48
2. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:20
3. Silvio Herklotz (Burgos-BH) +0:20
General classification after stage three:
1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) 12:34:54
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0:23
3. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:29
Photo courtesy of Getty Images