Volta a Catalunya (final stage)
Wet circuit in Montjuïc keeps GC intact, provides Quintana -three top-5 finishes in as many 2014 stageraces- with top confidence before final preparations for the Giro
Weather conditions limited the margin for surprises into the final stage of the 2014 Volta a Catalunya, which crowned Joaquim Rodríguez (KAT) as overall winner in front of Alberto Contador (TCS) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC). Only three seconds off that prestigious podium, 5th into a GC intact through the last three days of racing, finished Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) in his third stagerace of the season. The Colombian’s performance was overshadowed by the flu he was suffering before the race, undermining his performance and attitude still in preparatory stages for the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Belfast in six weeks’ time.
The only attack within the top guns, started by Contador, into the final lap of eight around Montjuïc -the original route was shortened due to danger into technical sections, leaving the parcours in and around Barcelona in just 108km-, was quickly responded by all main favourites as Lieuwe Westra (AST) took a solo win after leaving behind the rest of the day’s original break. Nairo, again well protected by his team-mates from the telephone squad, is now in 3rd place of the individual WorldTour ranking, completing a nice month of March for the Blues, full of good performances and crowned with three wins.