Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida) won the 6th stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, sprinting to the victory ahead of Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) and Tosh van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal). Nairo Quintana (Movistar) retained the overall race leader’s jersey heading into tomorrow’s final stage.
The results sheet will say today’s stage was just a regular bunch sprint finish, but the truth was that Cameron Meyer fell just 50 meters short of causing the upset. Our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider was part of the early 11 rider break that formed when our Australian attacked after 55km of racing.
Meyer was able to help drive the gap up to just over 5 minutes during the stage and our Aussie was clearly looking like one of the strongest riders on the day. Lampre-Merida were the team that took up the chase from the peloton as their hopes were placed on sprinter, Cimolai, to deliver in a mass sprint. Meyer was able to coax the other 10 riders into cooperating quite well in the early part of the race but closer to the finish, some of the other escapees weren’t quite contributing equally.
In an attempt to up the pace and because the peloton was now only 2’00” behind, Meyer attacked from the break with 45km to go. 2 riders were dropped but the rest eventually came back to our African Team rider and started contributing to the pace setting again. With 20km to go, the writing seemed to be on the wall for the break as the peloton had them in sight.
Meyer did not give up though and convinced Petr Vakoc (Etixx-Quickstep), Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Rudy Molard (Cofidis) to come with him when they had just 15 seconds to play with for the final 10km. The quartet would hold on to their slight margin to lead under the 1km to go banner. This is where Meyer put in his final effort and attacked one last time. This courageous ride would leave Meyer just 50 meters short of victory as Cimolai and the rest of the pack came sprinting past him with the line just a tennis ball throws away.
Cameron Meyer – Rider
Our team plan was to have someone in the breakaway. I had suffered through the big mountains and was looking forward to today. I made a big effort all day and felt really good. Of course I am disappointed to get caught so close to the finish line but I guess that is bike racing and I will keep trying to get a victory. Our team has been in 4 breakaways this tour and shown ourselves up at the front of the race. We have just the one more stage tomorrow, finishing in Barcelona.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
It was another crazy fast start. There was a bonus sprint after 10km and some GC guys wanted to sprint for these seconds so they kept the race together. After about 55km Cameron attacked with one other guy, then a few more came across to them a bit later to make the break for the day. When they reached their maximum lead of 5’30” Lampre started chasing. They rode well and kept options for the win right until the last meters. Cameron being caught just before the line was a real pity but he did a really great job. It was tough day with lots of wind on difficult roads so I am happy with the performance of the team.