Adam Yates was the top finisher for ORICA-GreenEDGE on stage three of Volta a Catalunya. The Brit climbed to 17th place, 27” behind stage winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). While the result may not stand out on paper, it’s an important part of Yates’ progression as an eventual overall contender.
Esteban Chaves enjoyed protected status on stage three as well. The Colombian’s progression was rudely interrupted last February by a season-ending crash. Back in the professional peloton 11 months later, Chaves made his debut with ORICA-GreenEDGE at Mallorca, finished fourth overall at Tour of Langkawi and lined up highly motivated to showcase his climbing ability in Catalunya. Chaves stayed with the front group on the final climb until the flamme rouge, crossing the line in 52nd place at 1’31.
“Our original plan for today centered around Simon Clarke. We had to do a rethink that when Clarkely pulled out of the yesterday with a sore knee. We switched things around and determined the main objective of the day was to continue our involvement in preparing Adam and Esteban for their longer-term general classification ambitions – not here at Catalunya but somewhere down the line. Today was one small step in their path of becoming overall contenders.
“As a team, we need to learn how best to support a general classification rider. Adam and Esteban are learning, too. They need to learn how to ride for the overall – and one piece of that is learning how to best use their teammates. That was the focus for the day. We started the day with realistic goals. We weren’t aiming for a specific result. We were aiming for a specific process.
“In the meeting with the boys this morning, I spelt it out for them very clearly,” Stephens added. “I said that we can’t control if we run top ten or top 20 or top 50. What we can control is the work we do and how we do it. Guys like Brett Lancaster, Damien Howson and Christian Meier had specific boxes to check in supporting Adam and Esteban – the usual tasks like getting bottles and rain capes and helpings out with position.” - Sport Director Neil Stephens
|1||Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) - Team Katusha||4:50:55|
|2||Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) - Tinkoff-Saxo||0:00:05|
|3||Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) - Movistar Team||0:00:09|
|4||Tejay Van Garderen (USA) - BMC Racing Team||0:00:11|
|5||Christopher Froome (GBr) - Team Sky||0:00:13|
|6||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) - AG2R La Mondiale||0:00:14|
|7||Wilco Kelderman (Ned) - Belkin Pro Cycling Team||ST|
|8||Andrew Talansky (USA) - Garmin Sharp||ST|
|9||Romain Bardet (Fra) - AG2R La Mondiale||ST|
|10||Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) - Lampre-Merida||0:00:20|
|17||Adam Yates (GBr) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:00:27|
|52||Esteban Chaves (Col) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:01:31|
|83||Christian Meier (Can) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:04:33|
|119||Damien Howson (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:09:43|
|157||Sam Bewley (NZl) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:32:07|
|158||Brett Lancaster (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|163||Leigh Howard (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:34:53|