Verona comes 5th after Volta a Catalunya break
The Spanish rider made it into the day's break and got his best result of the year.
The mountain stages of the race are done and dusted at this year's edition, but this doesn't mean the GC battle is finished, and on Friday we could see the proof, as the first hour and a half of the race had crazy speeds, of more than 50 km/h, because of which no one could get clear. Many teams were interested in the first intermediate sprint of stage 5, and it was Daniel Martin who took three seconds there, after being launched by an excellent Gianni Meersman.
Eventually, things calmed down, and a break got a green light from the bunch. Eight riders made their way to the front, one of them being Carlos Verona, the 23-year-old who helped Dan Martin so much on the previous two days. Joining him were Gaetan Bille (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Dario Cataldo (Astana), Wout Poels (Team Sky), Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data), Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), and together they opened a gap of five minutes, which proved decisive in the end.
On the final climb, the second-category Alt de Lilla (4.1 km, 4.8%), Poels attacked and left everyone else behind, taking the victory in Valls, where Cataldo and Bille rounded out the podium. Carlos Verona was fifth, notching his best result of the season, while the peloton came half a minute later. Dan Martin finished safely in the pack, and thanks to the bonifications he took on the road he is now just 4 seconds off the podium.
"Today it was difficult to have a break. After more than 100 kilometers we made it into the escape and we worked together quite fine. When Poels attacked, we tried to follow, but it was difficult. Fifth place is a good result, but I can't say I'm satisfied, and that's why if there will be another opportunity, I will go for it. On the other hand, I am happy with the way the team rode here this week and how strong it was", said Carlos Verona after Friday's stage.
Volta a Catalunya will continue with stage 6, 197.2 kilometers between Sant Joan Despi and Vilanova i la Geltru, on a course which suits the sprinters.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele