Catalunya (st. 7) / GW
Luck runs out in Catalonia for Movistar Team as a problem with the pedal for Pardilla going into the last corner relegates him to 10th place overall. Rojas crashes in final sprint at Gent-Wevelgem, is OK
The 92nd edition of the Volta a Catalunya has concluded today in Barcelona with a second stage win for Frenchman Julien Simon (SAU) and the overall victory for Michael Albasini (GEC) in a race marked by the suspension of the Queen stage on Wednesday, which left the final top-10 to be decided by the account of results at the end of the race. Sergio Pardilla battled until the very last moment for a good position in the GC, but the Spaniard got his feet out of the pedal of his bike going into the final sprint in Sarrià, coming just in 18th place and losing his eighth place in the overall, just with a position behind Carrara and the same points of Dario Cataldo (OPQ), to end in 10th. “It was a pity, because this was the day I had my best feelings,” said Pardilla, coming just behind Kiserlovski (the eventual 5th) at the last corner. That was the end of a Volta with no luck for Movistar Team, which saw its two biggest hopes for the overall, Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana, giving up after a crash and a puncture on stage two, respectively.
Visconti 10th in Belgium; Rojas crashes with no consequence
Bad fortune also accompanied Movistar Team more especially in the race closing the ‘flemish tour’ for Movistar Team’s roster directed by Yvon Ledanois, with Gent-Wevelgem as second UCI WorldTour even in Belgium this week over 235k starting at Deinze. The final sprint, won by Boonen (OPQ) over Sagan (LIQ) and Breschel 8RAB), saw Spanish road champion José Joaquín Rojas suffering a spectacular crash at the finishing straight, which fortunately had no consequences. The Murcian, really strong on front at the two passes through the demanding “helling” of Kemmelberg -with Imanol Erviti, Pablo Lastras y Fran Ventoso also on the first half of the bunch-, found his way into the elite group of thirty riders forming up after the difficult climbs, a split also reached by ‘tricolore’ Giovanni Visconti. However, Rojas was boxed in twice into the final rush, having to change his sprinting line until a third blow took him to the floor. Visconti, sprinting by the other side of the road, had to content the Blue squad’s expectations with his 10th place.