Volta a Catalunya: Porte secures overall success

Richie Porte’s magnificent spring showed no sign of finishing on Sunday as the recent Paris-Nice winner and Team Sky rider added a second WorldTour stage race victory to his 2015 palmares at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

The Volta’s final 126.6-kilometre stage, featuring eight ascents through Montjuic Park on a 6.4-lap circuit, ended with a third win in the week-long event for Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) at the head of a front group of around 40 riders.

The Spanish veteran completed the overall podium in second place, four seconds behind Porte, with Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) in third. Valverde’s final win and total of 12 seconds time bonus - he had also grabbed time with a runner’s up spot in the first intermediate sprint - moved him into second place overall.

The Spanish veteran was clearly delighted with his bunch sprint win, giving his teammate Jose Joaquin Rojas an on-the-bike hug as he freewheeled after the line, grinning from ear to ear. But with the time differences so minimal, Valverde will be left asking himself what would have been possible had he not been delayed by a crash on the Al des Angels climb on stage 3.

Coincidentally, Porte’s four-second advantage is the same time gap as between 2014 winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and runner-up Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in last year’s Volta. But despite the lack of terrain where riders could really open up the throttle - due to the Volta’s somewhat disappointing lack of a time trial or tougher mountaintop finishes, for example, the Catalan stage race has nonetheless been much harder fought this March.

All respect to Maciej Paterski (CCC) - the stage 1 winner and two-day leader - Bart de Clercq (Lotto Soudal) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar), but their three-man breakaway that unexpectedly gained an advantage of nearly three minutes on stage 1 threatened to kill off all interest in the overall before the race had really begun. Instead, seeing how the top contenders managed to bounce back from such a blow to their hopes has proved a major interest point in this year’s race.

Consistent racing by Porte, a second place behind Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) at La Molina, and finally a working alliance between Sky and other teams to blow the race apart on stage 5 ousted De Clercq, the most tenacious of the stage 1 trio in the mountains, from the leader’s position. As a result, Porte was en route to simultaneously claiming his second major stage race of 2015 and reinforcing his position as top ranked-rider in the WorldTour. He increasingly looks like a top favourite for the Giro d’Italia, too.

“I didn’t expect to win after the catastrophe of the first stage,” Porte, the first Australian ever to win Catalunya, told Spanish tv, “and it’s a dream result to get this. I’m really looking forward, too, to the Giro now.”

Having taken the lead on stage 5, Porte added that he had been “very motivated, prepared to fight to defend it, but with [Alejandro] Valverde, you never know what can happen. He’s such a fighter.

“All credit to the team, we had the numbers there in the final and that’s what saved the race for me.”

One of the few - but important - downsides for Team Sky at Catalunya was Chris Froome’s below-expectations ride, losing 27 minutes on the main mountain stage.

But as Porte said, Sky were present on the front in significant numbers during the final stage, clamping down on two attacks by Daniel Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) and another by Valverde himself. The rest of the favourites failed to make any challenges. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) was able to stay with the main group despite his heavy crash on Saturday, but the Spaniard ended his last pre-Giro race still pushed down to fourth overall by Valverde.

Arguably the strongest rider of the Volta this eyar, Valverde was delighted with his third stage win, taken in a frantic rush for the line at the Montjuic park where - for once - it did not rain on the final stage.

“It’s been a very tough Volta, but with three stages and the second place overall, I can’t ask for much more,” Valverde said. “I wanted to go for the overall and tried it with that attack, but saw it was impossible and had to settle for going for it in the sprint.”

 

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team2:47:33
2Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 1 - Cell 2
3Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Team KatushaRow 2 - Cell 2
4Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM CyclingRow 3 - Cell 2
5Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 4 - Cell 2
6Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 6 - Cell 2
8Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 7 - Cell 2
9Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-MeridaRow 8 - Cell 2
10Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 9 - Cell 2
11Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 10 - Cell 2
12Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 11 - Cell 2
13Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team KatushaRow 12 - Cell 2
14Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 13 - Cell 2
15Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdgeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Richie Porte (Aus) Team SkyRow 18 - Cell 2
20Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Wouter Poels (Ned) Team SkyRow 20 - Cell 2
22Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Sergio Pardilla (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 24 - Cell 2
26Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 25 - Cell 2
27Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 26 - Cell 2
28Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Bretagne-Séché EnvironnementRow 27 - Cell 2
29Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 28 - Cell 2
30Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 29 - Cell 2
31Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:21
33Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34David Lopez (Spa) Team SkyRow 33 - Cell 2
35Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 34 - Cell 2
36Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 35 - Cell 2
37Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 36 - Cell 2
38Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 37 - Cell 2
39Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 38 - Cell 2
40Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 40 - Cell 2
42Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Yohan Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 42 - Cell 2
44Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ.frRow 43 - Cell 2
45Sylwester Szmyd (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 44 - Cell 2
46Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:58
47Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 46 - Cell 2
48Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:59
49Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 49 - Cell 2
51Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 51 - Cell 2
53Andre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:01:22
55Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing0:01:36
56Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek Factory Racing0:01:48
57Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 56 - Cell 2
58Yannick Eijssen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 57 - Cell 2
59Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra) FDJ.frRow 58 - Cell 2
60Alex Cano (Col) ColombiaRow 59 - Cell 2
61Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre-MeridaRow 60 - Cell 2
62Lawrence Warbasse (USA) IAM CyclingRow 61 - Cell 2
63Leonardo Duque (Col) ColombiaRow 62 - Cell 2
64Christophe Laborie (Fra) Bretagne-Séché EnvironnementRow 63 - Cell 2
65Janier Acevedo (Col) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.frRow 65 - Cell 2
67Marinus Cornelis Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:02:10
68Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 67 - Cell 2
69Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 68 - Cell 2
70Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 69 - Cell 2
71Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 70 - Cell 2
72Christian Meier (Can) Orica GreenEdge0:02:21
73Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 72 - Cell 2
74Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:02:46
75Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling0:02:54
76Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky0:02:59
77Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement0:03:22
78Francis De Greef (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:04:20
79Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 78 - Cell 2
80Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Thomas Danielson (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 80 - Cell 2
82Stefan Schumacher (Ger) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 81 - Cell 2
83Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 82 - Cell 2
84Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 83 - Cell 2
85José Herrada (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky0:04:49
87Leopold Konig (Cze) Team SkyRow 86 - Cell 2
88Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:06:10
89Christopher Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 88 - Cell 2
90Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
91Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 90 - Cell 2
92Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 91 - Cell 2
93Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 92 - Cell 2
94Walter Pedraza (Col) ColombiaRow 93 - Cell 2
95Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 94 - Cell 2
96Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 95 - Cell 2
97Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 96 - Cell 2
98Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Bretagne-Séché EnvironnementRow 97 - Cell 2
99Steve Chainel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 98 - Cell 2
100Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 99 - Cell 2
101Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 100 - Cell 2
102Romain Sicard (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 101 - Cell 2
103David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 102 - Cell 2
104Jérôme Cousin (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 103 - Cell 2
105Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdge0:06:24
106Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:06:26
107Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin0:06:32
108Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Séché EnvironnementRow 107 - Cell 2
109Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step0:08:51
111Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 110 - Cell 2
112Egor Silin (Rus) Team KatushaRow 111 - Cell 2
113Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek Factory RacingRow 112 - Cell 2
114Cayetano Sarmiento (Col) ColombiaRow 113 - Cell 2
115Carlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:09:04
116David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 115 - Cell 2
117Luis Mas (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 116 - Cell 2
118Heiner Parra (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:09:19
119Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team0:11:26
DNFAnton Vorobyev (Rus) Team KatushaRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFSergio Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFMarc Soler (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFRory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar TeamRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFXabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Team SkyRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFCarlos Betancur (Col) AG2R La MondialeRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFJulian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFKenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.frRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFOlivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.frRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFLorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.frRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFRoberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFJan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-MeridaRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFKristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-MeridaRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFIlia Koshevoy (Blr) Lampre-MeridaRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFBrett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFLawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFFabio Silvestre (Por) Trek Factory RacingRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFCalvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Coledan (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFArmindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché EnvironnementRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Séché EnvironnementRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFJosef Cerny (Cze) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Martínez (Col) ColombiaRow 146 - Cell 2
DNSPrzemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-MeridaRow 147 - Cell 2
DNSCarter Jones (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 148 - Cell 2
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Mountain 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Leonardo Duque (Col) Colombia6pts
2Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Thomas Danielson (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team1Row 3 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice6pts
2David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Walter Pedraza (Col) Colombia2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Thomas Danielson (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team1Row 3 - Cell 3
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Mountain 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA6pts
2Walter Pedraza (Col) Colombia4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team1Row 3 - Cell 3
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Mountain 4