The uphill finish in La Molina Alp said something but not too much and, for sure not what everyone was expecting about. The long stage started in the late morning from Matarò, lived with a long escape and then the forcing of the strongest teams in the climb, along the uphill final.
At the end it was the last km sprints that created some gap between the contenders for the GC.
Our captain, the Danish Jakob Fuglsang, wasn’t able to fight for the stage victory and he left 42 seconds to the winner, the Spaniard Alejandro Valverde.
“It hasn’t been a good final for us – commented the sport director Dmitriy Sedoun after the stage – unfortunately Jakob lost a little bit the final change of rhythm a couldn’t fight for the stage… anyway the Volta Catalunya is still long and we will race living day by day and keeping eyes open on any opportunity for our captain to regain positions in the GC or in case even with the other riders to try to win one stage.”
“Anyway I have to say this Volta a Catalunya is a very good race, very various and with many kinds of ‘race tests’ – continued Sedoun – two day ago a very fast final, yesterday the long team time trial in which everyone was satisfied about the bikes and the materials, today a fast uphill final… it is a very important week of race for our Team and we will try to exploit it at the best!”
After today’s stage the first Astana Pro Team athlete in the GC is Fuglsang, 22° at 2’42”.
Tomorrow, fourth stage from Llívia to Igualada, 194.3 km with some hills in the final 50 km that could help to promote a breakaway.