Volta a Catalunya (st. 5)
Movistar Team neo shows courage and intelligent into break at Catalunya's penultimate stage, claims 4th spot; Valverde avoids troubles, stays 16" off Porte (SKY) before Montjuïc's showdown
Aged only 21 and with just 21 days of racing in the pro scene, Marc Soler (Movistar Team) has proven to be more than ready for the challenge of WorldTour racing. The Vilanova-based rider, really close to home roads today during stage six of the Volta a Catalunya -194km between Cervera and Port Aventura-, shone into a big break of 21 riders never gaining more than three minutes of advantage before the last climb of the day, the Alt de Coll Roig (3ª). There, several attacks reduced the field and increased the escapees' gap, while some of the telephone squad's riders protected Alejandro Valverde as the break seemed set to contest the win.
Soler's enormous efforts before the last 10km became intelligence at the end, saving energy for an only, key acceleration. That came with just over 1km remaining, when he closed an almost decisive gap for Frenchman Julien Alapphilippe (EQS), later missing out on a sprint where he came fourth as winner Sergei Chernetski (KAT) and former race leader Maciej Paterski (CCC) overcame him. Alejandro Valverde also sits in 4th overall, 16" behind Richie Porte (SKY) as the eight laps of the Montjuïc mountain decide the 95th Volta on Sunday.