Volta a Catalunya 2013 Preview – Stage 7

volta-a-catalunya-2013-stage-7

After 1.050 kilometers and numerous categorized climbs inland Catalunya, the riders are once again in the Mediterranean coast for  the final stage of Volta 2013. This pretty short stage will end in Barcelona with 8 laps on a finishing circuit with the legendary Montjuic climb.

Last time we saw Montjuic was Vuelta Espana 2012 Stage 9, 3 kilometers before the finish line. The stage was won by Philippe Gilbert, carrying Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez in his backwheel, helping him extend his lead in GC.

Before the final stage of Volta a Catalunya, Dan Martin leads the race with 17 seconds but wait for Rodriguez to attack very strong in Montjuic in front of his own crowd in his hometown.

GC Before Stage 7

1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 26:16:22
2. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 17″
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 45″
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 54″
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 55″
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 1′ 07″
7. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 1′ 18″
8. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 1′ 26″
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 1′ 28″
10. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp 1′ 30″

Profile of Montjuic Climb

Montjuic

Gerrans Wins Hectic Sprint as Dan Martin Gained Time

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Orica Greenedge’s Australian rider Simon Gerrans won the sprint and collect his second win of the season after Tour Down Under’s Willunga Hill victory. Omega Pharma Quick-Step’s Gianni Meersman, winner of the first and second stages so far in Volta a Catalunya came second and AG2R’s Samuel Dumoulin came third.

“I was far back, but I knew the guys in front of me were still lead out riders, so I had time to come around them,” told Gerrans, describing his win. “I kicked quite hard out of the corner. This gave me the opportunity to move up and use my momentum to pop out in the last couple hundred meters. I had the legs to come from behind today. It’s fantastic to get another WorldTour stage win for the team.”

Simon Gerrans is the only rider that finished the snow-affected Milan-SanRemo race and also competing in Volta a Catalunya, which started the following day.

Race leader Dan Martin, snatching a three second mid-stage time bonus, extended his lead to 17 seconds on his closest follower Joaquim Rodriguez before Sunday’s final Stage 7.

Final Kilometers

GC After Stage 6

1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 26:16:22
2. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 17″
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 45″
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 54″
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 55″
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 1′ 07″
7. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 1′ 18″
8. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 1′ 26″
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 1′ 28″
10. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp 1′ 30″

Stage 6 Results

1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 3:55:46
2. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
3. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
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Dan Martin Seizes the Overall Lead with Solo Attack

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Garmin-Sharp’s Irish rider Dan Martin, days after his 6-month ban has expired,  clinched a monumental stage victory with a long solo attack and moved on top of the general classification. 2010 Volta winner Joaquim Rodriguez and Movistar’s rising Colombian Nairu Quintana finished the stage in 2nd and 3rd places.

Martin was the sole survivor of a 25-rider escape group formed early in the race and kept his pace all the way through the ski resort of Port Aine. With this victory, Dan Martin now leads the general classification by 10 seconds ahead of Rodriguez.

After overnight race leader Alejandro Valverde crashed and quit the race along with team-mate Eros Capecchi, Quintana became the new race leader for Movistar and stands 32 seconds away from Martin.

“It’s one of my best victories,” told Martin. “To have Ryder Hesjedal working for me in the breakaway like that all day was just incredible. I didn’t do much in the breakaway. I felt kind of bad, but it’s an incredible victory for me today. I know how difficult it is to win out a breakaway. To finally get a victory here in the mountains of my home race is very important for me.”

Final 3 Kilometers

GC After Stage 4

1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 18:48:38
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 10″
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 32″
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 36″
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 39″
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 51″
7. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 1′ 00″
8. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp 1′ 07″
9. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 1′ 13″
10. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 1′ 15″

Stage 4 Results

1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 6:02:40
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 36″
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team
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Volta a Catalunya 2013 Preview – Stage 4

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Bradley Wiggins‘ attack just under the final kilometer banner  in Stage 3 was not a real shakeout for the overall classification, but before the second and final mountain-top finish, made things quite interesting.

Two back-to-back Hors-Category climbs just before the stage finish means there will be lots of opportunities for all the GC contenders to make a move. Movistar will set the pace for Alejandro Valverde on the climbs today but expect SKY to take charge again in the mid stages of Port-Anne climb. It will be very hard to bounce back considering none of the remaining stages of Volta 2013 will allow much time differences, so all riders will be utterly cautious till the very end.

GC Before Stage 4

1. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 12:45:28
2. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 4″
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
4. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 7″
5. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
6. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 26″
7. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 30″
8. David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
10. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp 35″

Quintana Attacks to Stage Victory as Valverde Becomes the new Race Leader

volta-a-catalunya-stage-3-nairo-quintana

Movistar’s Colombian climber Nairo Quintana attacked within the final kilometers of the first mountaintop finish of this year’s Volta a Catalunya. His team-mate and GC contender Alejandro Valverde finished the stage in 2nd place and became the new race leader whereas Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez finished third.

After the remaining members of the day’s breakaway was caught by SKY with 4 kilometers to go, Tom Danielson and Jurgen van den Broeck escaped one after the other and managed to make gaps around 10 seconds, but none of these attempts were successful. SKY’s “Sir” Bradley Wiggins made his move with 1km to go, but Quintana never slipped from his backwheel, and as the remaining riders approached the duo, attacked within the last 500 meters for his first stage win of the season.

“There was a strong headwind at the top of the climb and our strategy was waiting for that very last moment to attack,” told Quintana. “The attack by Wiggins took the speed up and it was really good for us to know the climb, since we knew that the hardest point came at the end of it.”

GC after Stage 3

1. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 12:45:28
2. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 4″
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
4. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 7″
5. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
6. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 26″
7. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 30″
8. David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
10. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp 35″

Stage 3 Results

1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 5′ 01′ 20″
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 6″
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
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