Valverde destroys field to take queen stage win and race lead in Catalunya

Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde took the victory in the queen stage of the Volta a Catalunya leaving behind on the final climb of the day Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo).

Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) finished at 1’50” from the stage winner and as such lost his top spot in the overall classification to Valverde.

Windy roads before the last climb propelled the Movistar riders to break the peloton into four echelons through the lands of the Ebro delta, before Rubén Fernández and, most notably, a stellar Marc Soler took over into the climb.

It was the 23-year-old Catalan climber who again showed his impressive talent to lead a five-man elite group –alongside Valverde, Contador, Froome and Adam Yates– that covered the last four kilometers together. Just before the ‘flamme rouge’, Valverde made his decisive move to leave all rivals behind.

“It was a spectacular day for both myself and the team, I’m so glad I could finish this off”, said Valverde. “It was an amazing day, all thanks to my team-mates. We kept full focus in the dangerous part of the stage, exposed to the wind, and all over the stage I had different team-mates surrounding me. At the final climb, Rubén Fernández and Marc Soler did a sensational job for me. From the very foot of the climb I was feeling like I had good legs, and I asked them to go on full steam for as long as they could. At the final two kilometers, I sought for my distance and launched the move with a pace I could hold until the line.

“It’s a victory and a leader’s jersey really special, because of everything that happened during the last few days. Things like those, outside the racing itself, are not ones that we like. In the end, we managed to get people excited and happy about our racing, and that’s what counts. Soler? It’s a really talented boy, you all could see it. He won the Tour de l’Avenir, excelled into the mountains prior, but seeing how strong he rode this week, I can tell this to you: he’s got whatever he wants to win in his legs.”

Volta a Catalunya 2017 – stage 5 results (Valls – Lo Port Tortosa):

1 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


2 Christopher Froome (Team Sky)


3 Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)


4 Marc Soler (Movistar)


5 Adam Yates (Orica-Scott)


6 Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors)


7 David Gaudu (FDJ)


8 Hugh Carthy (Cannondale-Drapac)


9 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)


10 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo)



General classification after stage 5:

1 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


2 Christopher Froome (Team Sky)


3 Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)


4 Marc Soler (Movistar)


5 Adam Yates (Orica-Scott)


6 Tejay van Garderen (BMC)


7 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)


8 Samuel Sanchez (BMC)


9 Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors)


10 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo)



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