Yates remains fifth overall after a shortened penultimate stage in Volta Ciclista CatalunyaSat 24 Mar 2018
Today’s penultimate stage in Volta Ciclista Catalunya was shortened to just 117kilometres due to snow and saw a opportunistic breakaway duo survive to the finish line.
Mitchelton-SCOTT did a lot of work throughout the stage in an attempt to bring the leaders back and try for a sprint, but in the end the breakaway stayed away by just 18seconds with Maximilian Schachmann (Quickstep-Floors) claiming the victory and South African champion Daryl Impey the highest finisher for the team in 16th place.
The general classification remains unchanged with Simon Yates in fifth place at 1minute 12seconds with one-day to go.
For the second time during the tour, the snow caused the stage to be shortened. The 194kilometre day was reduced to just 117kilometres with a new start town of La pobla de Segur, meant that two of the three second-category climbs were taken out leaving a relatively flat stage.
Breakaway and echelons
Despite the short distance, two riders Maximilian Schachmann (Quickstep-Floors) and Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH) attacked away from the peloton in rainy, cold conditions and quickly opened up a three minute advantage within the first 30kilometres.
Mitchelton-SCOTT began to lead the chase from approximately 60kilometres to go. The team’s efforts saw the duo’s gap dropped to just one minute after crosswind caused echelons and splits within the main peloton with 30kilometres remaining.
Close but not enough
With just eight kilometres to go the leaders held a 40second advantage with Rob Power, Carlos Verona and Jack Haig working hard to reel them in. The two leaders continued to fight on and managed to hold on by just 18seconds.
“We decided out on the road to take a chance and go for it today as we had nothing to lose. We were certain that it would all come back together and were quite surprised it didn’t because the guys were riding so hard and fast all day, I was on the limit just sitting behind them. There wasn't much more we could do.”
“I never really got a chance to open up the sprint in the final, I got boxed in a little and made my way back up but got closed in once again. It was a shame not to finish off today after some great teamwork and commitment.”
Volta Ciclista Catalunya stage six results:
1. Maximilian Schachmann (Quickstep-Floors) 2:34:25
2. Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH) ST
3. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:18
16. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
General classification after stage six:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 24:56:48
2. Egar Bernal (Team Sky) +0:16
3. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +0:26
5. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:12
Photo courtesy of Getty Images