3.29.2014

Volta a Catalunya 6: A Man Solo...

...and his kit is green... normally... but today Stef Clement  was wearing the King of Mountain Jersey when he attacked the break-away few km to go and endured till the line. 
He had spent the day ahead the race with Molard, Rutkiewicz, Piedra, Voigt, Sijmens, Clement, Rolland, Serry and Howson. Attacks came close to the finish, especially by the attacking old guy Jens Voigt, but Stef Clement was the one who managed to take off. He's a tt specialist: head on the handlebar he gained a few meters and it was gone. The sprint for the podium in the same frame but in a different world. Then the peloton came.
It was a windy day in Catalunya and the sea seemed a little sad. Stef Clemet instead looked very happy eating a bit of pasta just after the end of the race. 
He's a good, silent guy I lernt to apreciate: profesional and down to earth. "Not easy to put this feeling in 144 characters" he said "great to win a stage @VoltaCatalunya ! Proud to give back to those who support me always" 
Congrats!

What Stef Clement said:
"I don’t win many races, so this is great. The fact that this is a WorldTour race makes it extra specialI’m going to enjoy this to the fullest. This victory is a nice reward for the team. We've had some bad luck as Wilco dropped out of the top ten after a crash, but we have shown resilience and were in every break in the last few days. This win makes up for all the bad luck. I really feel that the guys are happy for me.
They [fellow escapees right after the race] all came up to me to congratulate me and they said that I had just been the strongest today. In the last few kilometres, it was a kind of game, though it wasn’t only wisdom. Just being strong can bring you a long way. Because I don’t often get in this position, I felt some pressure, but fortunately everything fell into place.
It would be foolish not to fight for the jersey as today I had to work hard for the points, it took a lot of power. But, honestly, I haven’t really thought about it just yet. First, I want to enjoy this victory!”
What Pieter Serry said:
"Today there was a tailwind, so I managed to enter into the breakaway immediately, about 5 kilometers into the race. We had immediately a good gap and realized we could make it until the finish, because we worked really well together. There was a good collaboration without problems. In the final kilometers there were a lot of attacks. I looked especially to Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar). When he attacked I went on his wheel, but then they caught us. I tried again, more or less at about 3 kilometers to go from the finish. But, a guy came with me and he didn't collaborate. It's a little bit of a pity, but I had a good result today. I have to say I felt strong enough to try to go for the win at this race. I think with a little bit of luck it really could have happened. But OK, it's the first time I was in that situation where there was a long time in the breakaway with a small group that could fight for the win. It's good experience and it's a big race for the team. We only miss a victory, but we are always there. I am a little disappointed, but OK, I will try again and if there will be another occasion in the future I hope I can have a personal victory."

What Chris Froome said about tomorrow fnal stage:
 “I think a lot of it depends on what the weather’s going to be like on Sunday – if we manage to stay dry or if it’s going to be another nervous, slippery day in the peloton. With it being the last stage with circuits around Barcelona, I think a lot of guys will be looking to finish the race off in style, and in terms of GC, it’s still really close. There’s only 18 seconds between the top eight riders so it’s going to be a big battle for GC and I wouldn’t want to be in Purito’s position right now having to defend the jersey. Alberto Contador will no-doubt try everything he can to take the jersey, but I’m just going to be happy to finish a good week of racing. I know where I am with my condition now. It’s nice to fight for the victory but I’m not on the level of the other guys just yet, and the punchy circuit doesn’t suit me. It suits Purito [Rodriguez] and Contador far more than it does me but I’m really happy with the feelings and sensations I’ve had this week. We have one day to go now and I feel a lot better now than I did at the start of the race. It’s been a good experience racing in extreme conditions that I’m not used to here, and that will all serve me well for the races to come.”

RESULTS
STAGE

1 Stef Clement (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 3:58:44
2 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:03
3 Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
4 Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek Factory Racing
5 Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
6 Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
7 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
8 Damien Howson (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
9 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:00:09
10 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:55
GC
1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:04
3 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:07
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:10
5 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team
6 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:17
7 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp 0:00:18
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:26
9 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:42
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:48

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