Despite great effort by Maciej Paterski, he lost his overall lead after stage 3 of Volta Cyclista a Catalunya and dropped to 2nd. He kept his mountains classification leader jersey.
We were hoping that today’s scenario will be similar to yesterday’s. In which the breakaway gets reeled in few kilometers before the finish. On the first cat.1 climb we already knew that it’s not going to happen. Tinkoff-Saxo set very fast pace and shredded the peloton. Due to a crash there was a split in the front and Paterski was caught in the second group. It was very hard to bridge that gap later on – Piotr Wadecki, sport director of the team said afterwards.
Despite losing the leader jersey we are satisfied with the result. Maciej is still 2nd overall in a mountain race, and if you take into consideration the fact that he is not a pure climber and there are so many great riders in the bunch, it’s a big success. The entire team is putting in great performance, protecting and helping Paterski.
We still own the KOM jersey but maintaining it it’s not our biggest goal. I think that Paterski is capable of finishing the race in the good place overall.
The stage was preceded by a minute of silence in honor of those who tragically died in the yesterday’s airplane crash. The Polish team was also wearing black bands on their arms to commemorate the victims of this sad accident.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice alongside team Movistar set very high pace early on. The speed was reaching 60km/h and it prevented any breakaway attempts. The escape broke clear after 20 kilometers. This is when Lluís Guillermo Mas (Caja Rural) and Benoit Jarrier (Bretagne – Séché Environnement) attacked, but their lead was very slim, only 15 seconds. Later they were joined by other 4 riders – Tom Danielson (Cannondale-Garmin), Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre Merida), Rudy Molard (Cofidis) and Leonardo Duque (Colombia) and after that, the gap started to grow. It increased to 3:45 with 65km into the stage.
On the cat. 1 climb to Alt dels Angels, which was tackled twice that day, Tinkoff-Saxo put the pressure on other teams and drastically picked up the speed. Because of that the race leader, Maciej Paterski was in difficulties on the ascent, but managed to catch up the main group.
Tinkoff-Saxo continued to ride strong at the front. After the Alt De Santa Pellaia (cat.2) the team ripped the bunch apart and Paterski got dropped. He was in the second group, with Alejandro Valverde, who crashed earlier.
On the second time on Alt dels Angels, favorites started their game. It resulted in establishing 7-man group in the front with Alberto Contador, Fabio Aru, Rigoberto Uran, Domenico Pozzovivo, Richie Porte, Daniel Martin and Andrew Talansky. At the top of the climb the gap between them and Paterski was 1:35. Pierre Rolland, who was the biggest threat in terms of GC, hit the top around one minute ahead of the Polish rider.
With 2km to go Pozzovivo took off and claimed the stage win. Maciej Paterski finished 1:38 behind him and since Pierre Rolland lost only 22 seconds to the winner, the Frenchman took over the race lead. Paterski sits now 2nd overall, 1:08 back. He didn’t lose his red, KOM jersey and will wear on tomorrow’s, queen stage, to La Molina.
Results of stage 3 of Volta Cyclista a Catalunya, Girona – Girona, 156.6km
1. Domenico Pozzovivio (AG2R La Mondiale)
2. Daniel Martin (Team Cannondale – Garmin)
3. Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quick Step)
42. Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 1:38
64. Sylwester Szmyd (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 5:59
82. Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 8:40
112. Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 11:46
136. Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 13:01
156. Stefan Schumacher (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 17:22
170. Adrian Honkisz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
178. Josef Cerny (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 18:22