Triumph in La Molina
He had to wait one day, but Alejandro Valverde has finally get his 101st victory as a professional in the Tour of Catalonia. He has done so in the third stage, a day with ending in La Molina, a climb where the cyclist of Movistar Team has clearly outperformed the Irish Daniel Martin (Quick Step). A group with Geraint Thomas (Sky), Alberto Contador (Trek) or the new leader Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) was very close and Chris Froome (Team Sky) lost 8 seconds.
Quotes: “It was a very fast start before the break went finally away. The last 50km were also really hard, too. Sky made it harder with a strong pace through the entire finale, but the team kept me protected perfectly and Soler was excellent controlling all moves into the last kilometers. Part of this victory is his, too. To be honest, I just had to make sure I sprinted properly. When Daniel Martin attacked, I went on his wheel quickly – I knew it would be difficult for him to beat me, because such uphill finishes really suit me well. I prefer not to further opine on what happened yesterday, everyone could see the images. Inwardly, we know we won that stage and we did it fairly. For the time being, our Volta can only be qualified as phenomenal”.
Alejandro Valverde is now fourth in the overall, 45 seconds behind Van Garderen. There are still four very hard days left. The first, tomorrow with ending in Igualada and the Turó del Puig (2nd) in the last kilometers.
Photo: Movistar Team