Volta a Catalunya: Tough day for the “orange team”

CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders felt the hardships of the last few stages when they had to protect the race leader, Maciej Paterski, and finished the queen stage to La Molina, far back. The stage was won by Teyaj van Garderen.

5 riders managed to get into the breakaway of the day, right after the start. Tom Danielson (Cannondale – Garmin), Jose Herrada (Movistar), Jérome Coppel (IAM Cycling), Riccardo Zoidl (Trek Factory Racing) and Loïc Chetout (Cofidis) were all involved in the escape. The peloton was aware of the hard terrain later on and it let the group gain 7:30 advantage, 50km into the stage. The bunch was steadily reducing the gap and with 70km to go it was only 1:15.

Maciej Paterski was going through a hard time on Alt de Coubet (cat.1), halfway through the stage. He paid the price for Milano-Sanremo, victory and exceptional ride on stage 1 and a great effort on another two stages to protect the leader jersey. He was not able to keep up the pace with the favorites. The team stayed with him though and helped him along the way.

On the hardest and tallest climb of the entire race, Alt de la Creueta, Danielson, Herrara and Zoidl left other escapees behind. The Cannondale-Garmin won the KOM and took over the mountains classification leader jersey from Paterski.

Herrara got dropped from the leading group, and Danielson and Zoidl continued the ride at the front. Eventually they were also caught, at the bottom of the last, La Molina climb, 5km to go. This is when favorites started to launch their attacks. The most energetic one came from Teyaj van Garderen. American went solo and crossed the line by himself. Richie Porte (Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff – Saxo) reached the top few seconds behind him.

CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders finished far back, with large time loses. Bart De Clercq (Lott-Soudal) became the new leader of the race and Maciej Paterski fell out of GC contention.

Results of stage 4 of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Tona – La Molina, 188.4km

1. Tejay van Garderen (BMC)

2. Richie Porte (Sky)

3. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)

77. Stefan Schumacher (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 27:49

82. Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

86. Josef Cerny (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

87. Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

115. Adrian Honkisz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

120. Sylwester Szmyd (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

126. Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

164. Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)