Wout Poels won the 5th stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya after attacking his breakaway companions in the final kilometers of the stage. Dario Cataldo (Astana) was 2nd and Gaeten Bille (Wanty Groupe Gobert) placed 3rd.
What looked like a standard small group sprint stage today, turned into one of the hardest stages of the race as it took close on 100 kilometers for the break to form. The constant attacking in the early part of the stage really took it out of the peloton and so when the break did go, they quickly got a 4-minute lead and there was only 60km left to race.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were part of all the early attacks and when the all-important 8 rider escape did eventually go clear, Kanstanstin Siutsou made sure he was there to represent our African Team. Katusha and Orica-Greenedge tried to organise the chase but there just wasn’t enough firepower to reel in Siutsou and company.
With 15km to go, Poels threw caution to the wind and attacked the break. The Team Sky rider put 15 seconds into Cataldo, Bille, Verona and Siutsou while the rest of the break dropped. 15 seconds was all that Poels needed over the final 10km as Siutsou and the other chasers weren’t able to bring the Dutchman back. Our Belorussian had to settle for 4th place at the line, a strong result on a really tough day.
Kanstantsin Siutsou – Rider
I still haven’t been feeling 100% after my crash in Andalucia. My ribs are still pretty sore so normally I wouldn’t be in the break on a stage like today but when there was still no break after 65km, I thought maybe I could try something on the climb. I tried on the climb and after my effort I really thought now the break will go. When I looked back it was still one long line. Then 4 guys attacked and I tried one more time, I got across and a few guys followed me to finally make the break. We were riding well at first and got a good gap. When Poels attacked, our group split but with 14km to go I spoke to the guys and told them we can catch him if we work together. Cataldo and I worked well and the Wanty rider as well, but when Verona started missing turns then everyone starts looking at each other. So even though Poels was only at 5 seconds with 5km, with no collaboration you will not catch a rider in that position. It is a little disappointing because I would have preferred to come to the line together. Even though I know with the pain in my ribs I probably wasn’t going to be that fast in the finish I would have been happier to be in contention. That is how it goes though. For the team it was good to be in the front and also for my head and the morale, today’s ride was good. There is a lot to look forward to.