Stage 3 of the Volta Catalunya started and finished in the cycling mecca in Girona. A destination famous for its easy access to steep climbs and twisty roads, much of the peloton calls this city home.
The race was animated from the beginning with lots of attacks. After about 45 minutes a break of six riders got away. By the time the riders reached the Els’ Angels summit the break had been reduced to three as Tinkoff and Astana aggressively attacked behind. Tom Danielson (Cannondale-Garmin), Rudy Molard (Cofidis), Leonardo Duque (Colombia) stayed away until second to last climb. Even after they caught the break Contador and his teammates did not let up.
Halfway up the Santa Pellaia climb, Alejandro Valverde got tangled up in his teammates and crashed. The crash happened at a bad moment as just as he returned to the group, a high speed crash occurred on the downhill sending Teejay Van Garderen over a guard rail. This split the peloton in three pieces at the bottom of the descent leaving Valverde at the back of the third group.
Heading up the final ascent of the day, Els Angels, a group of 20 had 30 seconds on the Valverde group. Contador attacked twice during the climb’s final four kilometers, whittling the group down to just five riders: Contador, Porte, Fabio Aru, Pozzovivo and Rigoberto Urán. With Cannondale-Garmin riders Dan Martin and Andrew Talansky being the only riders that were able to bridge across shortly after the reaching the summit. The group of seven emerged which sped down to the finish line where Pozzovivo attacked with 2km to go and held on for the victory putting him 4th in GC. With Uran and Martin taking second and third.
Pierre Rolland was able to relatively limit his loses on the front 7 and is now the race leader. Valverde, perhaps with the best ride of the day arrived 22 seconds back and will be a danger man in the next days.
Today was pretty special because I was able to follow the race on my bike and I was up on the climb as Tom rode by. I rode to the start then froze, road to the top of Els’ Angles twice then froze and then road to the finish froze but always worth it. The downside was I had to take photos from my iPhone, I promise better photos in the stages to come! Tomorrow I’ll be riding the final climb before the racers. Look for an update on Stage 4 tomorrow night. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to subscribe!