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Volta a Valenciana: CCC Sprandi Polkowice in the attack mode on the last stage

Victor de la Parte was part of the breakaway of the day and two other “riders in orange” tried their luck earlier in the last stage of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. Eventually it was a late attack that decided the race and Stijn Vandenbergh grabbed a well deserved solo win. De la Parte finished the competition in 20th place overall.

I felt better with every day of racing. Today I was trying to attack and I was hoping I could arrive to the circuit in Valencia with some gap over the peloton and move up in the GC. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to pull that off, but I had a chance to test the legs on the climb and make a selection in my group. It gave me the confidence that my preparation is going the right direction – Victor de la Parte said afterwards. – I think we, as a team, did a good job throughout the entire race. We were aggressive and present in almost every move. It was a solid performance, taking into consideration that it was our first race of the season, with this lineup.  

Given the short distance of the stage, it was expected that the pace from the very start will be fast. One attack was followed by another, but nobody was able to create a bigger gap in the first hour of racing. Among the most active attackers were CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders – first it was Maciej Paterski, who was part of the 7-man group. He got caught by a peloton, which split due to high pace of the chase.

Nikolay Mihaylov was in the next move. This time it was 3 runners, who tried their luck. They gained 45 seconds of advantage, but after regrouping in the bunch, the speed picked up and the trio was reeled in at 37 kilometer mark.

Victor de la Parte was involved in the third move of the day. He pulled away alongside 6 other men – Jesus Del Pino (Burgos-BH), Huub Duyn (Roompot Oranje Peloton), Domingos Goncalves (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA), Mikel Iturria (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias), Roman Maikin (Gazprom-RusVelo), and Kevon Van Melsen (Wanty – Groupe Gobert). They established over one minute lead, as Katusha was leading the chase in the bunch.

CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider was doing most of the work on the only categorized climb of the day, cat. 3 Alto Oronet and was the first one to reach the summit. The leading group split near the top and Jesus Herrada (Movistar) joined the escape, making a 5-man group.

Despite good collaboration in the front, the break got caught with 40 kilometers remaining. For the next 30 kilometers the group stayed all together until it entered the circuits in Valencia. This is where, on one of the corners, Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx-Quick Step) and Mirco Maestri (Bardiani – CSF), built up a small gap. They cooperated well, but eventually the Belgian left Italian behind and continued his solo journey towards the victory. It was disturbed by a plastic bag which got stuck near the rear wheel. That didn’t prevent him from holding on to his lead and taking the win.

He arrived at the line few seconds ahead of the chasing bunch, from which Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and Raymond Kreder (Roompot Oranje Peloton) were the fastest. Maciej Paterski was the top finisher of CCC Sprandi Polkowice, claiming 12th place.

Wout Poels (Team Sky) kept his yellow jersey and earned an overall victory. He was joined on the podium by Luis Len Sanchez (Astana) and his teammate, Benat Intxhausti. Victor de la Parte completed the 5-day event in 20th place.