Daniel Martin was right in the mix of the action with the best climbers in the world when the Volta a Cataluyna stage finished at Vallter 2000 today. He stayed with the leaders on the 11.4km climb to the finish to finish in third place on the same time as stage winner Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).
With 7.5 kilometres remaining, the lead group was down to 12 riders as Team Sky put the pressure. Their leader Egan Bernal attacked with 5.5 kilometres remaining. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) followed the Colombian immediately and was joined by Yates, and with 3.5 kilometres left, Miguel Angel López (Team Astana) and Martin.
Lopez and Bernal both took turns to attack in the closing kilometres as Martin struggled to hand. When he regained contact, he put in a dig himself but was unable to pull clear. He went to the front with 200 metres left of the tight finish but was passed by Yates and Bernal in the run to the line.
“The pace on the final climb was high, we were going quickly up until the start of the climb, so the work of my team-mates was even more important. They kept me in great position,” Martin said.
“I had good feelings, I tried to go at my pace and it allowed me to return to the front in the last kilometres. When I returned, I tired to play my cards in the sprint, keeping sure that I was at the front in the last two curves, above all in the last turn at 200 metres to the line. Unfortunately, this curve was a little narrower than I expected and I had to take the inside line, I had to slow down and this favoured Yates, and he had fresher legs. Third place is great. I would’ve preferred to win. I’ll try again tomorrow“.
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) remains in control of the race overall while Martin moved to fourth overall at 33 seconds. Tomorrow’s fourth stage starts in Llanars and ends in La Molina after 150.3 km. It’ll be a difficult stage as it features three category one climbs and the final hors catégorie climb.