Volta a Catalunya: Adam Yates wins stage 3 atop Vallter 2000

Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) won stage 3 of the Volta a Catalunya up to the ski resort of Vallter 2000, gaining enough time on his overall rivals to take the leader’s jersey from João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) after an attack 1.8km from the line.

It was the Briton's second victory at the summit finish, having also triumphed on the way to second overall at the previous edition of the race in 2019.

Esteban Chavez (Bike Exchange) made a late surge to finish 13 seconds back, with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) hanging on from the decisive attack to take third at 19 seconds after a series of attacks and chases shook up the leader group on the 11km climb high in the Pyrenees.    

Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) attacked with Yates and Valverde on the second half of climb but blew up in the final two kilometres and finished sixth at 33 seconds. 

Almeida, who had raced steadily up the climb, lost even more time and Yates picked-up a ten-second time bonus, so the Portugeuse rider slipped to third overall, 50 seconds down on Yates and five seconds behind Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers). Geraint Thomas was also strong, finishing fourth on the stage and moving up to fourth overall at 53 seconds.

Ineos appear in control of the race and will now work to defend Yates’ lead during Thursday’s fourth stage in the high mountains and another Hors Catégorie summit finish at Porte Ainé.

“I don't know time gaps yet. Tonight we'll sit down and have a look and see what it is but first we'll celebrate today,” Yates said, content to take his first win for Ineos after leaving his brother’s side at Bike Exchange and joining the British team.

“It was perfect in the end. We had cards to play like we knew in the beginning, and we played them well with Richie (Carapaz) going with the early move and then I came across and just kept going. In the end I had enough momentum and speed to go straight past. I still had Kuss and Alejandro with me but I managed to drop them. It's my first victory for the team and I'm really happy.”

How it unfolded 

The 203.5km stage started near Barcelona and near sea level at the Canal Olímpic de Catalunya, constructed for the sprint canoe events at the 1992 Olympics.

The flat roads inland towards the Pyrenees and Vallter 2000 were perfect for a breakaway and the early move soon formed. 

Francisco Galván (Kern Pharma), Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo), Sean Bennett (Qhubeka-Assos), Clément Venturini (AG2R Citroën), Thomas Champion (Cofidis), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Qhubeka Assos), Colin Joyce (Rally), Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) and Alex Evans (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) were in the move. The peloton let them go, perhaps without fully understanding the climbing strengths of some of them.  

After 50km the gap was up to a significant 8:20 and so Galván became the virtual race leader. Deceuninck-QuickStep lead the chase in defence of Almeida’s race lead, with Jumbo-Visma also helping them with Steven Kruijswijk starting the stage fourth overall at just five seconds.

However, the peloton opted to play a waiting game and the break lead by a whopping 11:15 with 125km to go. Galván led Camp and Evans through the intermediate sprint at San Fruitos de Bages, where the break’s lead stood at 12:25, taking three bonus seconds.

Kamp took three seconds at the second intermediate sprint in Perafita after 125km. Van Rensburg and Champion took the two and one-second timer bonuses as the riders took turns on the front and worked together to stay away. 

The Pyrenees loomed large on the horizon as the race criss-crossed the Ter river at San Joan de les Abadesses as the race headed deep into the valley. However the gap stayed close to 5:00 with 35km to go, tipping the stage towards the breakaway.   

Deceuninck-QuickStep took up the chase, with Ineos Grenadiers tucked in behind them as the speed rose and the gap came down. 

Joyce was the first to be distanced from the break, then Van Rensburg eased up too. However the break lead by 2:30 going through Setcases with 11km to go.  

Venturini was next to be spat out, followed by Galván, as Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) eased up after doing a late turn on the front for teammates Lennard Kämna and Wilco Kelderman. The break soon fell apart, with the gap down to 1:30 and their chances suddenly looking slim. 

Marc Soler (Movistar) surprisingly also dropped back from the peloton, with 10km to race and while there were still over a hundred riders in the peloton. Chris Froome (Israel Start-up Nation) soon joined him off the back.  

Alejandro Valverde decided to try to restore Movistar pride by going on the attack and sparked a first of what would be a number of surges and counter moves during an highly entertaining finale.   

With 8km to go Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) upped the pace and Valverde surged again with Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) chasing him. Then Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) attacked, dancing on the pedals as Richard Carapaz went with him. 

Yates waited for the early attacks to cancel each other and for the hardest part of the climb with around five kilometres to race before speeding away out of the saddle. Only Kuss could go with him and they swept up Valverde, blowing past the others ahead. 

Behind, Almeida was alone, with Thomas and others on his wheel, and so could only try to ride at threshold and limit his losses.

Arensman was last to be caught from the break at 3.5km to go and so Valverde began to hope for the stage victory with his fast finish. However, Yates responded to an attack from Kuss and then went himself with 1.8km to go, cracking the American, who blew up, and distancing Valverde. 

The British climber was never seen again and had time to celebrate his first win for Ineos Grenadiers as the rest of the riders fought to survive and limit their losses.

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Stage result
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 5:00:58
2Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange 0:00:13
3Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:19
4Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:31
5Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
7Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
8Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation 0:00:36
9Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
10Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
11Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
12Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange
13Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange
14Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
15Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:46
16João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
17Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:03
18Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:01:09
19Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
20Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:21
21Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:29
22Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
23Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
24Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
25Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain Victorious 0:02:07
26Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education-Nippo
27Stephen Williams (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 0:02:35
28Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:39
29Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team DSM 0:02:42
30Thymen Arensman (Ned) Team DSM 0:02:48
31Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:56
32Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
33Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
34Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:06
35Jaime Castrillo Zapater (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
36Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM
37David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates 0:03:10
38Roger Adria Oliveras (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
39Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis 0:03:36
40Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo 0:04:00
41Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:04:02
42Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma 0:04:12
43Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:04:18
44Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:23
45Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation 0:04:45
46Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:04:55
47Ben Zwiehoff (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:05:15
48Artem Nych (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo 0:05:19
49Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ 0:05:34
50Rob Britton (Can) Rally Cycling 0:05:43
51Chris Froome (GBr) Israel Start-up Nation
52Jeremy Bellicaud (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:06:04
53Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal
54Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:06:06
55Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
56Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain Victorious 0:06:18
57Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:06:31
58Daniel Alejandro Mendez Noreña (Col) Equipo Kern Pharma 0:07:05
59Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:07:18
60Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:07:32
61Alexander Evans (Aus) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:07:33
62Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:07:59
63Andres Camilo Ardila Ordoñez (Col) UAE Team Emirates 0:08:03
64Thomas Champion (Fra) Cofidis 0:08:27
65Dmitrii Strakhov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo 0:08:32
66Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:09:11
67François Bidard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
68Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar Team 0:09:25
69Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
70Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
71Savva Novikov (Rus) Equipo Kern Pharma 0:09:43
72Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:10:11
73Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
74Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
75Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana-Premier Tech
76Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
77Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel Start-up Nation
78Tanel Kangert (Est) Team BikeExchange
79James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
80Jaakko Hänninen (Fin) AG2R Citroën Team
81Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
82Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R Citroën Team
83Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
84Sergei Chernetskii (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
85Urko Berrade Fernandez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
86Nathan Brown (USA) Rally Cycling
87Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo 0:10:54
88George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma 0:11:13
89Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM 0:11:15
90Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:11:43
91Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
92Jonas Wilsly (Den) Astana-Premier Tech 0:11:51
93Diego Camargo Pineda (Col) EF Education-Nippo
94Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech 0:12:27
95Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis 0:12:43
96Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
97Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Cofidis
98Bob Jungels (Lux) AG2R Citroën Team
99Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis
100Sean Bennett (USA) Team Qhubeka Assos
101Denis Nekrasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
102Tejay van Garderen (USA) EF Education-Nippo
103Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
104Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
105Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
106Sander Armée (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos
107Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
108Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
109Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo 0:12:49
110Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal 0:13:35
111Brent Bookwalter (USA) Team BikeExchange
112Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ 0:13:49
113Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 0:14:22
114Mattias Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
115Harold Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana-Premier Tech
116Francisco Galvan Fernandez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma 0:14:27
117Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Gazprom-RusVelo 0:15:27
118Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
119Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Team Arkea-Samsic
120Laurent Pichon (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
121Alexander Cataford (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
122Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally Cycling
123Nickolas Zukowsky (Can) Rally Cycling
124Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
125Joey Rosskopf (USA) Rally Cycling
126Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team
127Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
128Chad Haga (USA) Team DSM
129Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
130Marti Marquez Roman (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
131Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
132Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team
133Callum Scotson (Aus) Team BikeExchange
134Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
135Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-up Nation
136Antonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
137Dion Smith (NZl) Team BikeExchange
138Jan Hirt (Cze) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
139Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:16:34
140Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:16:49
141Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 0:16:53
142Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
143Connor Brown (NZl) Team Qhubeka Assos
144Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious 0:17:38
145Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
146Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling
147Alan Riou (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:17:53
148Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
149Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM
150Rob Power (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:19:18
151Matis Louvel (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:19:50
152Luke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:19:59
153Ben King (USA) Rally Cycling
154Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 0:20:09
155Joan Bou Company (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:20:11
156Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:20:28
157William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:20:41
158Karel Vacek (Cze) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:21:17
159Frederik Wandahl (Den) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:21:26
160Josef Cerny (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep
161Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
162Jordi Meeus (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe
996Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
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Sprint 1 - 81km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Francisco Galvan Fernandez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma 3
2Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo 2
3Alexander Evans (Aus) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 1
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