Calm after the storm
22 March 2013

Volta a Catalunya (st. 5)

Volta riders take a day with no major events as big pace leads bunch early into Lleida's finish - no changes in GC top positions with two stages remaining

The peloton sped -almost 45 kph average- through a calm stage five of the 2013 Volta a Catalunya, held on Friday over 157 kilometers between Rialp and Lleida after the two earlier mountain-top finishes in the Spanish race. A bunch sprint saw Canadian François Parisien (ARG) taking a surprising win as Nairo Quintana kept his privileged third place in the overall rankings, despite some splits into the bunch at the end. The Colombian is now four seconds ahead of Bradley Wiggins (SKY) and five over Michele Scarponi (LAM) into the fight for the podium, whose two top positions are still held by Daniel Martin (GRS) and Joaquim Rodríguez (KAT).

The stage started with a hectic first hour of racing -50.5km were covered- that ended up with Tristan Valentin (COF) and Olivier Kaisen (LBL) escaping for almost hundred kilometers before getting caught with 15 remaining. More of the same should happen on Saturday during stage six: a 179km trek from Almacelles to Valls –where a homage will be paid to the late and remembered Xavi Tondo-, with the Alt de Lilla (Cat. 2) just 14k from the finish.