photo credit @ Team Katusha
Sergei Chernetski (Katusha) claimed the penultimate stage of this year’s Volta a Catalunya today, after nixing his rival Julian Alaphilippe (Etixxx-Quick-Step) on the line to seize the victory.
Chernetski and Alaphilippe were part of a sizable breakaway group containing yesterday’s stage winner, Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing), as well as fellow American Tom Danielson (Cannondale-Garmin).
As the breakaway group reached the final 25 kilometers, they were holding a 3 minute advantage over the peloton.
From there, van Garderen initiated a couple of attacks from within the breakaway group, subsequently jettisoning a few “hangers-on”.
Back in the peloton, for the second day in a row, a crash plagued the field, this time taking Laurens Ten Dam (Lotto NL-Jumbo) and several others, as its latest victims.
With 14 kilometers remaining, Georg Preidler (Giant-Alpecin) was the next breakaway rider to try his luck with an escape, but to no avail.
From there, a flurry of attacks occurred from within the breakaway group – most notably from Dani Navarro (Cofidis), Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Rudy Molard (Cofidis) and Steven Kruijswijk (Lotto NL).
However, just as their predecessor, each was brought back one by one. But, just as the breakaway group began to stabilize, Ataphillippe initiated an other attack.
However, just as Ataphilippe appeared to be poised for victory, the remnants of the breakaway began closing in, with Chernetski emerging as the strongest rider during the waning moments of the stage.
“Today was my day. I’m very happy,” said Chernetski, who confessed that he didn’t have much of a sprint and was hoping to win through an attack.
Meanwhile, Ritchie Porte (Team Sky) finished safety in the bunch to retain his overall lead in the general classification – by five seconds over Dominico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) and 16 seconds over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in third.
Stage 6 Results
RUS 1 CHERNETSKI, Sergei (KATUSHA) 4:42:47
FRA 2 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
POL 3 PATERSKI, Maciej (CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE)
ESP 4 SOLER, Marc (MOVISTAR)
FRA 5 HIVERT, Jonathan (BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT)
USA 6 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING)
AUT 7 PREIDLER, Georg (GIANT – ALPECIN)
FRA 8 MOLARD, Rudy (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
USA 9 DANIELSON, Thomas (CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 3
ESP 10 VERONA QUINTANILLA, Carlos (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
General Classification after Stage 6
AUS 1 PORTE, Richie (SKY) 0
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