Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

Stage 4) Ripoll - Port Ainé

ES Spain Thursday 25 March 2021 166.5 km

Volta a Catalunya: Almeida passes a tough mountain test

Volta a Catalunya: Almeida passes a tough mountain test

Thursday brought a crazy and chaotic start to the 166.5km stage between Ripoll and Port Ainé, which was another mountainous affair containing no fewer than three hard classified climbs. The most taxing of these was the last one, an 18.6km mammoth ascent averaging 6.8%, where the fight the GC contenders had ignited on Vallter 2000 was expected to continue. More than a dozen riders tried to escape the peloton’s clutches early on, including James Knox, but the bunch reacted furiously and brought back all the moves that came in the first 30 kilometers.

After one hour of racing, a large group finally got green light and established a three-minute gap which didn’t help their cause, as the chasers swept them by the time the final ascent started. A strong pace meant the group was whittled down to about 15-20 men with more than ten kilometers to go, both James Knox and Fausto Masnada being there and working hard for João Almeida, Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s highest-ranked rider in the overall.

The youngest rider in the top 10, João rode again admirably, managing to stay with the select group despite the numerous injections of pace at the front and being slightly distanced with just 400 meters remaining. Gritting his teeth, the revelation of last year’s Giro d’Italia finished only a few seconds behind the group and despite slipping to seventh in the standings, he is still within touch of the podium and in control of the best young rider classification.

“Today was another hard day at the office, with high mountain and tough gradients, but I had the team with me and they did a beautiful job, protecting me and making sure I was in a good position at the start of the final climb. I was happy to be there with all those big GC guys, and even though I got dropped with 400 meters remaining, I am satisfied with my ride. I will try to keep my place in the top 10 and take home the white jersey, but if there will be an opportunity to gain some places over the next three days, I will go for it”, Almeida said after the last summit finish of the race.

 

Photo credit: ©David Ramos/Getty Images

Race details

1 Esteban Chaves Rubio
Team BikeExchange
4:29:47
2 Michael Woods
Israel Start-Up Nation
0:07
3 Geraint Thomas
INEOS Grenadiers
0:07
4 Adam Yates
INEOS Grenadiers
0:07
5 Sepp Kuss
Team Jumbo-Visma
0:07
6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
Movistar Team
0:07
7 Richie Porte
INEOS Grenadiers
0:07
8 Wilco Kelderman
BORA - hansgrohe
0:07
9 Nairo Quintana Rojas
Team Arkéa Samsic
0:07
10 Lucas Hamilton
Team BikeExchange
0:07
13 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:25
17 Fausto Masnada
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:54
62 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
15:08
71 Dries Devenyns
Deceuninck - Quick Step
18:19
124 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
28:50
148 Josef Černý
Deceuninck - Quick Step
34:49
1 Adam Yates
INEOS Grenadiers
14:14:15
2 Richie Porte
INEOS Grenadiers
0:45
3 Geraint Thomas
INEOS Grenadiers
0:49
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
Movistar Team
1:03
5 Wilco Kelderman
BORA - hansgrohe
1:03
6 Esteban Chaves Rubio
Team BikeExchange
1:04
7 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:07
8 Hugh Carthy
EF Education - Nippo
1:20
9 Sepp Kuss
Team Jumbo-Visma
1:29
10 Simon Yates
Team BikeExchange
1:32
17 Fausto Masnada
Deceuninck - Quick Step
2:39
49 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
25:56
80 Dries Devenyns
Deceuninck - Quick Step
38:46
132 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
58:04
149 Josef Černý
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:10:39
1 Esteban Chaves Rubio
Team BikeExchange
16 pt
2 Adam Yates
INEOS Grenadiers
10 pt
3 Rohan Dennis
INEOS Grenadiers
10 pt
4 Natnael Berhane
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
6 pt
5 Michael Woods
Israel Start-Up Nation
6 pt
6 Luis León Sánchez Gil
Astana - Premier Tech
6 pt
7 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
6 pt
8 Alexander Kamp
Trek - Segafredo
5 pt
9 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
Movistar Team
5 pt
10 Geraint Thomas
INEOS Grenadiers
4 pt
11 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
4 pt
1 Esteban Chaves Rubio
Team BikeExchange
50 pt
2 Adam Yates
INEOS Grenadiers
40 pt
3 Koen Bouwman
Team Jumbo-Visma
30 pt
4 Geraint Thomas
INEOS Grenadiers
30 pt
5 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
Movistar Team
28 pt
6 Lennard Kämna
BORA - hansgrohe
27 pt
7 Michael Woods
Israel Start-Up Nation
26 pt
8 Sepp Kuss
Team Jumbo-Visma
23 pt
9 Louis Meintjes
Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
16 pt
10 Joe Dombrowski
UAE-Team Emirates
15 pt
1 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
14:15:22
2 Lucas Hamilton
Team BikeExchange
0:28
3 Harm Vanhoucke
Lotto Soudal
0:47
4 Brandon McNulty
UAE-Team Emirates
1:12
5 Santiago Buitrago Sánchez
Bahrain - Victorious
4:11
6 Maxim Van Gils
Lotto Soudal
8:42
7 Jaime Castrillo Zapater
Equipo Kern Pharma
9:24
8 Roger Adrià Oliveras
Equipo Kern Pharma
11:17
9 Lennard Kämna
BORA - hansgrohe
14:58
10 Steff Cras
Lotto Soudal
18:59
1 INEOS Grenadiers 42:43:46
2 Team BikeExchange 3:02
3 Movistar Team 9:29
4 Team Jumbo-Visma 24:18
5 EF Education - Nippo 27:20
6 Deceuninck - Quick Step 27:27
7 UAE-Team Emirates 28:47
8 Lotto Soudal 28:52
9 BORA - hansgrohe 32:06
10 Euskaltel - Euskadi 32:17

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