Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won the Queen stage of the Volta a Catalunya by out-climbing Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo). The Movistar rider not only took the stage victory but the overall race lead too.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka always knew it was going to be difficult to get much out of today’s stage with the main GC riders all targeting today’s tough final climb. Our attempts to make it into the early breakaway proved to be fruitless as everything was chased down in the opening hour of racing.
Even when a group did get away, the teams of the GC favourites kept close tabs on the gap and held a high pace with the wind also threatening to cause chaos. With around 50km to go there were some big splits in the peloton due to the wind but in the end the race all came back together before the final 8km climb into Tortosa.
Ben O’Connor and Jacques Janse van Rensburg were our two top performing riders on the day. The duo held on to the main GC group for as long as they could but eventually had settle into their own rhythm and finished 3-minutes down on Valverde.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
We knew it was going to be difficult for the break to make it the finish just like two days ago on the mountain finish. The GC was still very tight between the big names and with the bonuses at the finish, they were going to decide the stage. We only wanted to be in the break if it was a big group so we were following the moves. When the group went away we didn’t have anyone there which was disappointing but even so, the GC teams rode such a high pace. Our guys then tried to recover and save their legs for the final climb and then rode there own pace to finish when the big names started attacking.