Volta a Catalunya (st. 6)
Clement (BEL) powers to late, solo win in Vilanova i la Geltru; Quintana into main field after echelon attempts, will fight to improve his 5th overall at final stage in Catalunya
The threat caused by strong east winds over the 2014 Volta a Catalunya did not become real more than once during stage six, 172km from El Vendrell to Vilanova i la Geltrú. The bunch did split into the second half of the parcours, the pace picking up as the peloton chased a nine-man breakaway that ended up successful after not ammassing more than four and a half minutes’ advantage. Nairo Quintana had excellent protection in his team-mates -most notably Plaza, Lastras, Moreno and Castroviejo- and came across the finish safely into the bunch, 55secs behind the day’s winner Stef Clement (BEL).
Seven riders -Nairo himself, as well as GC leader Rodríguez (KAT), Contador (TCS), van Garderen (BMC), Bardet (ALM), Froome (SKY) and Talansky (GRS)- will reach the showdown of the Catalan race within 18 seconds. The 120km stage seven, in and around Barcelona, will include eight laps of the famous Montjuïc circuit, with a 2km climb at 5.7% that might offer some late fireworks in the race.