VALLS, Spain (VN) — Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) found a little something extra in the tank on Saturday as he roared up from behind to win stage 6 of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.
The peloton retrieved an eight-man break a half-dozen kilometers from the finish of the 178.7km race from Almacelles to Valls, setting up the bunch gallop.
BMC was on the front in the final kilometers, hoping to deliver Danilo Wyss to the stage win. But a hectic run-in full of roundabouts and tight corners saw Gerrans overhaul Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r La Mondiale) to take the victory, his second of the season.
“I’m really happy with the stage win,” said Gerrans. “It was a huge team effort today.”
The day unfolded pretty much according to plan, “although the race was a bit faster and harder than we had expected,” he added. “The break didn’t establish until 100 kilometers, so it was super fast for the first two or three hours.”
Once the break was retrieved and the sprinters’ teams began setting up for the dash to the line, Gerrans said he kept himself in good position and came through the final left-hand bend in about 10th place.
“I was far back, but I knew the guys in front of me were still lead out riders, so I had time to come around them,” he said.
“I kicked quite hard out of the corner. This gave me the opportunity to move up and use my momentum to pop out in the last couple hundred meters. I had the legs to come from behind today. It’s fantastic to get another WorldTour stage win for the team.”
Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) continues to lead on the overall, 17 seconds ahead of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and 45 ahead of Nairo Alexander Quintana (Movistar).
Martin managed to widen his lead to Rodriguez by three additional seconds by taking an intermediate sprint.
Garmin-Sharp worked hard to keep Martin in yellow going into Sunday’s final stage, a 122.2km leg ending with a circuit course over the Montjuic hill in downtown Barcelona.
“I don’t feel pressure. I had the same situation in the Tour of Poland (in 2011). If I lose the race, I still would have won the most beautiful stage of the race,” Martin said.
“I don’t know if my advantage will be enough, but it’s a good lead. I feel good, but you never know.”