A big group of 12 riders with Astana’s Sergei Chernetskii among them went away after the first intermediate sprint, immediately taking a nice gap. The group worked well during the first part of the race, but split dramatically on the slopes of the last uncategorized climb: Jarlinson Pantano and Vegard Stake Laengen attacked from the break, while Chernetskii, Giovanni Visconti and Danilo Wyss immediately started chasing them.
On the descent, close to the finish the group of Chernetskii has come really close to the leaders, but missed a few seconds to catch them. Thus, Pantano took the stage win ahead of Laengen. The stage podium was completed by Matej Mohoric, who attacked from the peloton inside the final kilometer.
Astana rider Sergei Chernetskii finished 6th, just ahead of the main peloton, which almost neutralized the breakaway at the finish line in Vielha Val d’Aran.
- From the beginning of La Volta I was motivated to try something on a few stages. So, today I saw my chance and, in general, I think I did a good stage. After the training camp on altitude, which I finished just ahead of the race, I feel much better, so today my legs worked well. In the final we were very close to catch two leaders. I did my best on descent to close the gap, but we missed a bit to do it. So, 6th place in the end of the day, but the main thing is I am improving day by day and I hope in the next days and races I could get something good, - explained Sergei Chernetskii.
After today’s stage Alejandro Valverde still keeps the race leader’s jersey, while Jesper Hansen of Astana Pro Team moved up to 10th place, 1 minute 28 seconds behind Valverde.
Stage 6 of the Volta a Catalunya will be held tomorrow: 194,2 km from Vielha Val d’Aran to Torrefarrera. With another three climbs on the distance it could be another good opportunity for a breakaway.
Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto