Volta a Catalunya: Stage 3

Cycling

ByTheMinCycle

Good afternoon again! It's me, Robyn, and I'll be live reporting stage 3 of the Volta a Catalunya.

Initially from Sant Cugat to Vallter 2000, stage 3 has been cut shorter due to heavy snow, with the peloton covering 153km, finishing in Camprodon.

Today's breakaway is comprised of Chevrier (AG2R), De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Mas (Caja Rural–Saguaros RGA), with Bizkarra (Euskadi Murias) and Torres (Burgos-BH) bridging to join them. Someone sounding familiar? Bizkarra was also in the break yesterday.

The intermediate sprint was won by De Gendt, followed by Mas and Torres. The 5-man breakaway have a lead of 2'16" on the peloton, with 72km to go. Mas is the best paced rider for GC, sitting in 28th.

Here’s the new stage route, featuring the intermediate sprint won by De Gendt, with the Cat 1 climb of the 5.2% Coll de Bracons, and the newly added Cat 2 Collabós at 5.7% still to come. Due to the shortened stage, two Cat 1 climbs were cut from today.

"Obviously the man in the leader's jersey will be protected. But tomorrow that scenario might be different.. we have another option with Quintana, and also Soler, but we will not forget Alejandro. Opportunities for climbers have been seriously reduced." - Luis Arrieta, Movistar Sport Director

66km for the break now, and they're still 2'12" ahead of the peloton. De Gendt is surely the one to watch here, covering the most kilometres in the break at the Tour de France last year. Did he win the Prix Antargaz? No. Did he deserve it? Certainly. (Not to take away from winner Barguil)

"Today's stage, it looks like there should be another sprint [at the end]. I hope I can survive the last climb and try again." - McCarthy, Bora, third place on stage 2.

Seemingly no issues from the peloton with the move to shorten the stage, with Bob Jungels (Quick-Step) praising the shorter stage as “a good decision”.

"I wanted to see if other riders would follow me. If someone from Movistar... Orica [Mitchelton-Scott] followed me, it would've been good. I feel good with the stage shorter, we'll see what happens. I've done the climb and the finale a couple of times, plenty of riders will be able to follow." - Latour, who attacked on stage 2, AG2R La Mondiale. 61km to go, 2'02" advantage for the break.