Alejandro Valverde dominates in La Molina and leads GC in Volta a Catalunya
Mar 22 2018 05:49 pm CET

Alejandro Valverde dominates in La Molina and leads GC in Volta a Catalunya
Alejandro Valverde dominates in La Molina and leads GC in Volta a Catalunya
Photo of Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has taken the victory of the fourth stage of the Volta a Catalunya. The Spaniard overtook Team Sky's Egan Bernal in the last meters, winning the stage and retaking the lead of the GC.

The mountains were once again the stars of the fourth stage of the Spanish race, that in its 170 kilometres included two climbs of the first category and one hors category ascent. The peloton had neutralised every attempt of an attack throughout the first 80 kilometres when Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) managed to break free and created a considerable gap over the pack.

Some kilometres later, Joey Rosskopf (BMC), Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) joined the Colombian at the front, but the climbs were too hard for them and eventually left the Colombian on his own again.

In the reduced peloton, race leader Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) had a hard time on the climbs and was left behind. During the descent of the Coll de la Creueta, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) attacked from the pack and soon caught and overtook Chaves, creating a gap of more than one minute with the peloton.

Behind him, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) also attacked and shortly stayed with the Colombian. The duo chased Mohoric for a moment but was soon reeled back in by the reduced peloton.

Mohoric started the last ascent of the day and behind him, Movistar's Marc Soler launched an attack, which was followed by George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), Hugh Carthy (EF Education First-Drapac), Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) and Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Samsic). This small group caught the Slovenian and soon Valverde launched an attack that changed the rhythm of the reduced peloton, creating a compact group once again.

Some kilometres later, Soler changed the pace and rode away with Latour. The new rhythm proved to be too difficult for some and the group broke apart.

A few minutes later, Valverde joined the two men in front while Team Sky's Egan Bernal attacked from behind, taking Nairo Quintana (Movistar) with him. Soon the five of them rode in front, which was followed by several attacks that were quickly neutralised by the others but proved to be too much for Soler.

With 4 kilometres to go, Quintana attacked but Bernal closed the gap some meters later. In the last kilometre, Bernal accelerated and only Valverde could keep up with him, leaving Quintana struggling behind.

Valverde took the initiative in the last meters and the Colombian was unable to overtake him. The Spaniard crossed the finish line just ahead of the rider of Team Sky and put on the leader's jersey once again.




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