Volta a Catalunya (finale)
Colombian from Movistar Team on the attack in Montjuïc circuit, finishes just off the podium after lively, chaotic final stage in Barcelona. Marc Soler crashes out, suffers blow to right-hand wrist, pending exams.
Colombia’s Miguel Ángel López (AST) secured -after plenty of suffering- the final victory in the 99th Volta a Catalunya on Sunday, after holding off all of his rivals’ attacks in the 143km stage seven in and around Barcelona’s Montjuïc mountains. A significant part of the attacks were led, just like in the recent Paris-Nice, by Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), who did not settle with the fourth place overall he held in the eve of this hilly showdown.
The ‘Cóndor of Boyacá’ jumped away from the field with just over five laps to go (-35km), and was quickly joined by Carlos Verona, who had long been part of the morning break. The duo built a gap near half a minute on the rest of the GC contenders, yet they were eventually caught by the group and replaced by an even more dangerous move from Adam Yates (MTS). The Briton even got to 45″ ahead of the bunch and jeopardized López’s leadership, but the group of favourites was able to come back in the last lap after a huge effort. Davide Formolo (BOH) won the stage from the break, as Alejandro Valverde -who worked for Nairo into the closing laps- took 5th in the pursuing bunch’s sprint, with Quintana in 8th.
Worse news came during the stage as a pile-up with six laps remaining saw Richard Carapaz and Marc Soler falling down. As the Ecuadorian was able to continue and finish the race, the Catalan suffered a significant blow to his right-hand wrist and had to head back to the team bus, from which he was derived to Barcelona’s Hospital Clínic to check the area up. Scans confirmed a non-displaced fracture to his scaphoid, an injury which cuts the progression the Spaniard achieved during this Volta and makes him unable to hold the overall top-ten result he had before today’s stage.
Such an awful end to a very good race from the Catalan youngster. Get well soon! pic.twitter.com/nQdJ0xFk40
— Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) March 31, 2019