Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2019

March 25-31, Calella, Catalunya, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Ostanek

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 3 of the Volta a Catalunya. Today's queen stage runs 179km from Sant Feliu de Guíxols to the summit finish of Vallter 2000 at Setcases.
 

 

 

  1. 10:55:03 GMT

    We're around 10 minutes away from the start of stage 3.

  2. 11:02:50 GMT

    Today's stage is undoubtedly the hardest of the race, featuring a third category climb, two first cats and a haute category summit finish. We could even see the final destination of the leader's jersey decided today.

  3. 11:04:42 GMT

    We also have live coverage of Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne running today. Click here to follow.

     

  4. 11:07:30 GMT

    Team Sunweb's Michael Matthews won yesterday's second stage, his first victory of the season. Read our report here.

     

     

  5. 11:10:03 GMT

    The other big story of stage two was Chris Froome's crash and subsequent 14-minute time loss. Read up on that story here.

     

  6. 11:14:58 GMT

    The race last visited Vallter 2000 back in 2014, when there was a similar run-in featuring the Port d'Oix and Port de Rocabruna before the summit finish.

     

    Tejay Van Garderen won that stage, beating Romain Bardet to the line for his first WorldTour victory. Joaquim Rodríguez went on to win the overall, beating Alberto Contador.

     

     

  7. 11:17:52 GMT

    Last year there was also a stage to Vallter 2000 planned (featuring the same threeclimbs in the finale), but it was drastically altered due to the threat of avalanches. Current race leader Thomas De Gendt ended up taking the win on that day.

     

  8. 11:27:35 GMT

    The riders have set off to start the stage already. Joey Rosskopf (CCC Team), Huub Duyn (Roompot-Charles) and Jesper Hansen (Cofidis) don't start stage 3.

     

  9. 164km remaining from 179km

    11:29:07 GMT

    11 riders have broken away from the peloton and are currently two minutes up the road.

     

  10. 11:33:16 GMT

    No word on the makeup of the breakaway yet.

     

  11. 11:41:28 GMT

    The race had a stage finish at Vallter 2000 back in 2013 as well. On that occasion Nairo Quintana took the victory, six seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodríguez.

     

     

  12. 160km remaining from 179km

    11:43:52 GMT

    The break has passed the first climb of the day, the third category Alt de la Ganga. 

     

    Álvaro Cuadros (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) led them over, with Pieter Weening (Roompot-Charles) and Óscar Cabedo (Burgos-BH) in second and third.

     

    So we have a few names of the escapees – Sergio Samitier (Euskadi-Murias), Bart De Clercq (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Lennard Kämna (Team Sunweb) are also out there – but no full group yet.

     

  13. 11:45:47 GMT

    Jumbo-Visma, AG2R La Mondiale and Arkéa-Samsic also have men up there. Photo of the break from the race Twitter feed (@VoltaCatalunya).

     

     

  14. 11:58:50 GMT

    Finally we have confirmation of the riders in the break. Upcoming...

     

  15. 12:00:26 GMT

    Here's the full breakaway: Álvaro Cuadros (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Óscar Cabedo (Burgos-BH), Sergio Samitier (Euskadi-Murias), Bart De Clercq (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Maurits Lammertink, Pieter Weening (both Roompot-Charles), Lennard Kämna (Team Sunweb), Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Francois Bidard (AG2R La Mondiale), Anthony Delaplace (Arkéa-Samsic), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Jumbo-Visma).

     

  16. 150km remaining from 179km

    12:01:57 GMT

    The break is currently 5 minutes up on the peloton.

     

  17. 12:04:21 GMT

    Over at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne they've covered 50km and a breakaway is up the road. Follow the race live with Stephen Farrand here.

     

  18. 12:14:42 GMT

    Still some way to go until the next 'feature' on course – the intermediate sprint at Banyoles. The next climb of the day doesn't come until almost 130km into the stage.

     

  19. 12:18:06 GMT

    The eleven-man break still hold a five-minute gap at the moment.

     

  20. 12:24:16 GMT

    It's a largely flat day today, up until the 90km mark when the unclassified climbing starts. A lot of kilometres to wear down the legs before the real action starts on the Port d'Oix.

     

  21. 12:27:27 GMT

    140km to go over in Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne and the break there have around 4:30 over the peloton.

     

  22. 12:32:00 GMT

    Meanwhile in Catalunya, the break is four minutes up on the peloton.

     

  23. 12:36:38 GMT

    There should be a plethora of names in with a chance of taking the win today. As Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) said before the stage, "There is a lot of great contenders so, we will have a good battle."

     

     

     

  24. 12:42:54 GMT

    In addition to Bardet, here's a look at the other names in contention for the win on Vallter 2000.

     

    Movistar have Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, while Richard Carapaz is another option. Enric Mas heads up Deceuninck-Quick Step's challenge.

     

    Egan Bernal and Ivan Sosa will head up Team Sky. Miguel Ángel López and Pello Bilbao are Astana's men, and the Yates brothers lead Mitchelton-Scott.

     

    Then there's Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma), Max Schachmann, Davide Formolo (both Bora-Hansgrohe), Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Woods (EF Education First), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic).

     

  25. 125km remaining from 179km

    12:47:46 GMT

    The break are approaching the sprint at Banyoles. They have five minutes on the peloton.

     

  26. 12:50:10 GMT

    Maurits Lammertink led the break over the sprint at Banyoles. Álvaro Cuadros and Oscar Cabedo rolled across the line in second and third place. Here's a shot of the break crossing the line, from the race Twitter feed (@VoltaCatalunya).

     

     

  27. 13:01:57 GMT

    Back to today's contenders though, and we have a few stories up on the site about Alejandro Valverde, Thibaut Pinot and Michael Woods.

     

    Valverde, who finished second yesterday, said after the stage, "My body is reacting well to the recent efforts, and the team is working perfectly, so let's see what we can do in Vallter tomorrow."

     

    Woods has said he's perhaps not at his best here, offering his thoughts on the final three climbs today: "It’s not a crazy difficult climb, but the two climbs prior to it make it very difficult, especially with the technical descents."

     

    Finally, Pinot said yesterday that today's stage will be the biggest challenge of the race, with the high altitude and "the level of the field here" making it a "real challenge."

     

     

  28. 13:11:34 GMT

    Back in the race, the situation remains the same.

     

  29. 13:16:13 GMT

    Check out our new story for the latest news from Chris Froome, who crashed yesterday. "Potentially, I might add in the Tour of the Alps. I'll get a good training block in after this and then look into adding the Tour of the Alps, the Tour de Yorkshire and get a few more race days," he says.

     

  30. 97km remaining from 179km

    13:20:22 GMT

    We're inside the final 100km of the stage now. The 11-man break is 5:40 up on the peloton.

     

  31. 13:21:19 GMT

    The break are around 10km from the feed zone, and still some 40km from Port d'Oix.

     

  32. 13:32:13 GMT

    Our man in Catalunya Alasdair Fotheringham reports warm and dry weather at the foot of the final climb.

     

  33. 78km remaining from 179km

    13:40:00 GMT

    The break's advantage over the peloton is 5:40.

  34. 13:45:21 GMT

    Not too far now from the next categorised climb, the Port d'Oix.

     

  35. 13:48:00 GMT

    They're inside the final 70km over at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne. Follow that race live here.

     

  36. 13:54:27 GMT

    Over an hour until live television coverage of the stage begins. Hopefully there'll be more updates on the race situation in the meantime.

     

  37. 14:06:33 GMT

    The situation remains the same as the break reach Port d'Oix. 11 men up front with a 5:40 advantage on the peloton.

     

  38. 59km remaining from 179km

    14:07:21 GMT

    We're inside the final 60km of the stage now. The Port d'Oix is 7km long with a 5.4%.

     

  39. 14:09:17 GMT

    Lotto-Soudal, Movistar and Jumbo-Visma are leading the peloton.

     

  40. 14:13:03 GMT

    The gap is apparently down to 4:30 actually. The average speed so far has been 39km/h.

     

  41. 14:24:11 GMT

    For a closer look at the final three climbs of the day, here's a look at the Strava segments of Port d'Oix, Port de Rocabruna and Vallter 2000.

     

    No surprise that the top spots are taken up by riders who contested the stage when the race visited back in 2014. Carlos Verona holds the record up Oix, the now-retired Jérémy Roy was the fastest up Rocabruna, and Romain Bardet (who finished second at the finish) was fastest up Vallter 2000.

     

  42. 14:29:36 GMT

    The latest update is that the break are still climbing Port d'Oix. Live pictures coming in around 15 minutes.

     

  43. 52km remaining from 179km

    14:38:00 GMT

    Cuadros took the points over the top of Port d'Oix, followed by Weening, Devenyns, Delaplace, Bidard and Lammertink. It looks like there wasn't much of a fight for the points, with the break just rolling over the line.

     

  44. 14:40:06 GMT

    According to Alasdair Fotheringham, our reporter in Catalunya, there's a tailwind going up the final climb of the day, Vallter 2000. Should make for a ascent, then.

     

  45. 36km remaining from 179km

    14:52:44 GMT

    The break starts the Port de Rocabruna now. They're 3:40 up on the peloton.

     

  46. 14:52:59 GMT

    Movistar are leading the peloton at the moment.

     

  47. 14:55:19 GMT

    17km to go over at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne. Follow live here.

     

  48. 14:58:06 GMT

    Movistar, Sky and Mitchelton-Scott each have two cards to play here, and they're all up front.

     

  49. 15:01:37 GMT

    Just six men remain up front in the breakaway. Weening, Cuadros, Samitier, De Clercq, Devenyns and Lindeman are there.

     

  50. 15:02:25 GMT

    Bidard is still there too.

     

  51. 31km remaining from 179km

    15:07:31 GMT

    The gap isn't really budging, despite Movistar's work on the front of the peloton.

     

  52. 15:08:59 GMT

    Cuadros leads over the top of Port de Rocabruna too. Weening, Devenyns, De Clercq, Lindeman and Bidard follow.

     

  53. 25km remaining from 179km

    15:14:10 GMT

    After a short descent, the break are on a short flat section before the road gradually starts ramping up again to the final climb.

     

  54. 15:16:41 GMT

    Here's an in-depth look (in Spanish) at the final climb, which officially starts in 12km. As you can see, there are double-digit gradients in the final two kilometres, as well as the third and fourth kilometres of the climb to Vallter 2000. Overall, it's 11.4km long, with an average of 7.7%.

     

    Here's Sky's Chris Froome leading the way on the snowy ascent of the climb back in 2014. The conditions are much better today.

     

     

  55. 21km remaining from 179km

    15:18:44 GMT

    21km to go and the break are 3:30 up the road.

     

  56. 15:20:43 GMT

    Andrey Amador has hit the deck. He was leading the peloton through a tight corner and slid out, with a couple of other riders crashing behind him. He looks ok though, but it doesn't look like he'll make it back to the peloton at the rate he's going.

     

  57. 15:21:06 GMT

    Daryl Impey also fell.

     

  58. 18km remaining from 179km

    15:24:58 GMT

    Under three minutes for the break now. They're 6km from the start of the climb.

     

  59. 14km remaining from 179km

    15:29:47 GMT

    Samitier isn't in the break. Just six up front now.

     

  60. 15:30:39 GMT

    Movistar still driving a large peloton.

     

  61. 15:31:49 GMT

    Samitier makes his way back. now seven men up front.

     

  62. 12km remaining from 179km

    15:35:29 GMT

    Samitier, Devenyns and Lindeman put in a dig.

     

  63. 15:36:21 GMT

    Lindeman touched the back wheel of Devenyns and nearly swerved into the passing moto.

     

  64. 10km remaining from 179km

    15:38:46 GMT

    Lotto-Soudal are on the front of the peloton now, riding for De Gendt. Movistar still there too.

     

  65. 15:39:40 GMT

    More attacks in the break. Weening, Lindeman, Samitier and Devenyns dropping De Clercq and Bidard.

     

  66. 9.5km remaining from 179km

    15:41:11 GMT

    Just 1:30 between the peloton and the break now. Lotto doing the damage that Movistar were faliing to do.

     

    Lindeman chases Weening up front. Samitier and Devenyns can't hang with them.

     

  67. 15:42:34 GMT

    Now Team Sky take the front of the peloton. Narváez, Henao, Sivakov riding for Bernal.

     

  68. 8.5km remaining from 179km

    15:44:39 GMT

    Weening is alone out front now, with a good gap. Lindeman didn't make it up to the Roompot man.

     

  69. 8km remaining from 179km

    15:47:15 GMT

    Sky are really pushing the pace here. The front of the peloton is strung out and it's shrinking in numbers. Just a minute to Weening now.

     

  70. 15:47:48 GMT

    De Gendt drops from the peloton. He won't hang on to the leader's jersey today.

     

  71. 7km remaining from 179km

    15:49:35 GMT

    Half a minute between the reduced peloton and Weening now. Maybe about 20 riders in the peloton.

  72. 6.5km remaining from 179km

    15:51:21 GMT

    Just 12 riders remain in the GC group.

     

  73. 15:51:50 GMT

    Weening is caught. Just the GC men now.

     

  74. 15:52:16 GMT

    Sosa, Bernal, Pinot, Quintana, Kruijswijk, Dan Martin, Woods are all in there.

     

  75. 6km remaining from 179km

    15:53:33 GMT

     Valverde isn't in the lead group.

  76. 15:53:58 GMT

    Schachmann and Pello Bilbao are with Valverde, chasing the lead group.

     

  77. 5.5km remaining from 179km

    15:54:44 GMT

    Woods and Kruijswijk are hanging on at the rear of the lead group.

     

    Bernal launches! Quintana is right with him.

     

  78. 15:54:59 GMT

    No answer from anybody else.

     

  79. 15:55:37 GMT

    They're racing at around 1800 metres altitude right now. No surprise that the Colombians are leading the way. They climb up to 2148 metres at the finish.

     

  80. 15:55:47 GMT

    Simon Yates is leading the chase.

     

  81. 15:56:16 GMT

    De Gendt is 1:25 down on Bernal and Quintana right now.

     

  82. 15:57:07 GMT

    Quintana isn't doing any work here. It's all Bernal.

     

  83. 4.5km remaining from 179km

    15:57:52 GMT

    Simon Yates is getting closer to the duo.

     

  84. 15:58:35 GMT

    Yates catches them. The lack of co-operation from Quintana let him back in.

     

  85. 15:59:03 GMT

    Quintana is still refusing to work.

     

  86. 16:01:22 GMT

    Woods and Pinot attack.

     

  87. 2.5km remaining from 179km

    16:01:55 GMT

    López and Dan Martin catch the leaders. Yates attacks.

     

  88. 16:02:29 GMT

    Martin and López dropped, try to catch the trio after Yates attack.

     

  89. 2km remaining from 179km

    16:03:00 GMT

    Bernal tries an attack. Quintana and Yates respond.

     

  90. 16:04:17 GMT

    Bizarre tactics by Quintana. He can clearly respond to Bernal's attacks but just refuses to do any work. It's not like he can say he's got Valverde behind...

     

  91. 16:04:44 GMT

    Martin and Lopez keep catching before the lead trio attack and drop them.

     

  92. 1.5km remaining from 179km

    16:05:14 GMT

    López attacks!

     

  93. 16:05:44 GMT

    Just the four up front now. Martin dropped.

     

  94. 1km remaining from 179km

    16:06:16 GMT

    Final kilometre. De Gendt is technically still in the race lead, just hanging on. The wind changes from head to tail as they navigate the hairpins.

     

  95. 16:06:24 GMT

    Martin is back with the leaders.

     

  96. 16:06:52 GMT

    Martin tries an attack.

  97. 16:07:01 GMT

    The five are still together.

     

  98. 16:07:11 GMT

    Bernal leads with Quintana on his wheel.

     

  99. 0.5km remaining from 179km

    16:07:27 GMT

    Final 500 metres. No further attacks yet.

     

  100. 16:07:38 GMT

    Chase group enters the final km.

     

  101. 16:07:59 GMT

    Bigger gaps than we've seen in the past on this mountain. Sky really pushed the pace on the early slopes.

     

  102. 16:08:19 GMT

    A slowing down from the leaders as the approach the final metres.

     

  103. 16:08:29 GMT

    Quintana and Yates lead the way.

     

  104. 16:08:38 GMT

    Cat and mouse.

     

  105. 16:08:49 GMT

    Martin launches the sprint!

     

  106. 16:09:00 GMT

    Yates goes past on the outside of the final corner!

     

  107. 16:09:17 GMT

    Poor camerawork once again!

     

    And Adam Yates takes the win ahead of Bernal!

     

  108. 16:09:30 GMT

    Dan Martin took third, Quintana fourth.

     

  109. 16:10:26 GMT

    Now the wait for De Gendt. Can he hold on? Quintana was 2:56 down at the start of the day.

     

  110. 16:11:05 GMT

    Various groups coming in. Two minutes have passed.

     

  111. 16:12:02 GMT

    De Gendt appears! He finishes around 2:22 down, just behind Valverde.

     

    De Gendt hangs on to the race lead.

     

  112. 16:12:46 GMT

    Top three on GC should be De Gendt, Bernal and Quintana by my estimation.

     

  113. 16:15:26 GMT

    Second win of the season for Adam Yates after his victory on stage four of the Vuelta Valenciana.

     

  114. 16:19:43 GMT

    Not sure about this GC, with Martin ahead of Bernal despite starting out a second behind him and finishing behind him. But it's what has been reported, so...

     

    Stage result

     

    1 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 5:02:18
    2 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky
    3 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates
    4 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
    5 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:02
    6 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:30
    7 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:46
    8 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:00
    9 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:51
    10 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First 0:00:53



    General classification after stage 3



    1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 13:28:29
    2 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:23
    3 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:27
    4 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 0:00:30
    5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:35
    6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:39
    7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:06
    8 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:23
    9 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team
    10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:28

     

  115. 16:23:03 GMT

    Yep, the GC was wrong. Here's the revised top ten with Bernal ahead of Martin.

     

    General classification after stage 3



    1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 13:28:29
    2 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:27
    3 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 0:00:30
    4 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:33
    5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:35
    6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:39
    7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:06
    8 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:23
    9 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team
    10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:28

     

  116. 16:28:59 GMT

    We're back in the mountains tomorrow, with a stage to La Molina. Three first category climbs and a mid-stage haute category climb are on the menu. The finish is easier than today, though. Still, look out for the same contenders as today.

     

  117. 16:33:42 GMT

    Here's tomorrow's stage profile.

     

     

  118. 16:34:36 GMT

    And that's all from me today. Come back tomorrow for full live coverage of stage 4!

     

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