Volta a Catalunya Wrap Up With Sport Director Dave McPartlandSun 30 Mar 2014
The Volta a Catalunya came to a close in Barcelona on Sunday. Adam Yates was the top placed rider for ORICA-GreenEDGE in 22nd place, 3’32 behind race winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). In his first WorldTour race, Yates was thrice the team’s best placed finisher in the hills, cracking the top ten on stage five.
Yates’ accomplishments were well-supported by the Australian outfit who choose to focus on rider development following Simon Clarke’s early departure from the Catalan Tour. Yates was one of the team’s three neo-pros amongst eight starters. Damien Howson and Esteban Chaves, like Yates, enjoyed repeated opportunities during their week of WorldTour racing.
Sport Director Dave McPartland reviews the stage below and offers his assessment of the team’s accomplishments throughout the entire week.
THE PLAN FOR STAGE SEVEN:
We had two objectives for the final stage. We wanted to give Adam Yates the opportunity to go for a good stage result and in turn consolidate his position on the general classification. This objective would be roughly supported by Meier and Chaves.
We also wanted to give Howard and Bewley one last hit out before the Classics. They both line up for Three Days of De Panne on Tuesday, and this is their priority now.
Howson came down crook overnight with the cold and flu symptoms that seem to be circulating around the peloton. He didn’t start the final stage.
PLAN INTO ACTION:
During the first half of the race, the guys did a good job of staying out of trouble on the slightly-shortened course. Race organisers opted to cut the circuit by 1.1 kilometres due to heavy rainfall. The main obstacle of the day, the third category ascent of Montjuic, remained the crux of the eight circuit laps.
Unfortunately, we missed the break but with limited numbers (five starters), it proved difficult to be in all the moves. Thirteen riders went up the road, and they entered the finish circuit with somewhere around a four minute advantage.
On the final circuit, we put Chaves, Meier and Yates into position. The circuit was wet and dangerous, but our three fared well enough. Although Adam lost some seconds on the last lap, he moved up on the overall from 25th place to 22nd place. Adam’s performance today further proves his potential in the WorldTour. With this, we finished the home tour on a high note.
WEEK IN REVIEW:
We went into Volta a Catalunya with a relatively young group of guys, and we emphasised our focus towards their development with the general thought that we would foster their general classification mentality. Along with this objective, we aimed for a good stage result with Leigh Howard
We achieved four top ten finishes with three different riders! It’s all about the process as discussed throughout the week. We controlled what we could, and we were rewarded with consistently promising results.
We saw some really important accomplishments throughout the week. Chaves has shown a steady return to form following his extended break after a major injury. We’re excited by the progress his has shown in his return to the top level of the sport. Howson’s break yesterday was impressive. With all the attacks in the final, it could have gone either way for him – and for a guy in his first year as a professional, it was amazing that he was able to stay so calm. Yate’s performance in the mountains and the week as a whole offers us a glimpse of the rider he will become.
With all this said, we now head home and reassess. We’ll learn from what we’ve accomplished here and look to build upon our achievements in the next race.