Home Sports Adam Yates takes maiden win for Ineos, moving into Volta a Catalunya...

Adam Yates takes maiden win for Ineos, moving into Volta a Catalunya lead


Adam Yates of United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers Celebration, during the 100th Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2021, Stage 3, a 203,1km stage from Canal Olímpic de Catalunya to Vallter 2000 – Velo/Getty Images /David Ramos.

Britain’s Adam Yates claimed his first victory for new team Ineos Grenadiers on day three of the Volta a Catalunya, taking the race’s lead. The 28-year-old, who has joined Ineos Grenadiers from Mitchelton-Scott this year, won the climb up to the ski station of Vallter 2000 in convincing fashion, counter-attacking over the top of a group that included Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) with Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma).

Yates, who profited from vital work from his Ineos Grenadiers team-mates, ended up winning 13 seconds from former team-mate Esteban Chaves, who attacked out of the peloton and nearly bridged across to the Briton.

Yates now leads the general classification 45 seconds from his Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Richie Porte, with the previous leader Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick Step) slipping back to third overall at 50 seconds. Welshman Geraint Thomas is fourth at 53 seconds, meaning Ineos Grenadiers riders occupy three of the top four. Chris Froome (Israel Start-up Nation) found the going tough again, getting dropped on the final climb.

Adam Yates

Volta a Catalunya | March 22-28, 2021
Stage two: Dennis powers to victory as Almeida takes the lead

Tuesday, March 23 — Banyoles, 18.5km (time trial)

Rohan Dennis – EPA

On Tuesday, Rohan Dennis took his first win of the season when the Ineos Grenadiers rider blasted his way around the lumpy 18.5-kilometer time trial course in Banyoles to secure stage two at the Volta a Catalunya. “It’s great to be back on the top step,” Dennis said after securing his first win since taking the world time trial title in Harrogate in 2019 with a time of 22min 27sec, clocking an average speed of 49.443km/h.

Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), the French time trial champion, completed the course 5sec slower than Dennis, while his Portuguese team-mate Joao Almeida was third fastest at 28sec. Almeida, who led last year’s Giro d’Italia for 15 days, took the leader’s jersey off the shoulders of Andreas Kron (Lotto-Soudal) and now holds the narrowest of leads — just 1sec — over Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) while Luis León Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech) is third overall 3sec off the pace.

Adam Yates moved to fifth on general classification after finishing the time trial in seventh place on a good day for British team Ineos Grenadiers, who had four riders in the top 10. Yates is their highest-placed rider on the general classification, riding in only his second race for Ineos Grenadiers following the close-season transfer from Mitchelton-Scott. At the same time, team-mate Richie Porte is seventh. Geraint Thomas, meanwhile, moved up 22 places to eighth, at 19sec.

Chris Froome (Israel Start-up Nation), who started the day 8min 40sec off the lead in 97th place, was again off the pace finishing his time trial in 79th spot, 2min 5sec behind former team-mate Dennis. The four-time Tour de France winner trails race leader Almeida by 9min 51sec.

Over in Italy, Mark Cavendish took the leader’s jersey at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali following day one of the five-day race. In a split stage, the Briton finished second to Jakub Mareczko (Vini Zabu) in the morning’s short race. On Tuesday afternoon, his Deceuninck-Quick Step squad finished third in the team time trial, just 2sec adrift of Israel Start-up Nation and 1sec behind Astana-Premier Tech.

Cavendish takes a 2sec lead into Wednesday’s 163km second stage from Riccione to Sogliano al Rubicone thanks to the time bonus he earned for his second runners-up spot of the season. In a statement from his Deceuninck-Quick Step team, Cavendish said: “Two podiums in a day and the leader’s jersey here, it’s not too bad. Though we missed the wins, I am incredibly proud of our five-person group.

“The lads looked after me in the morning, and I was disappointed not to repay their hard work with a victory. But then, in the afternoon, we committed against the odds in the team time trial. I couldn’t be happier to at least get to lead the race after day one, especially as it’s the first time in four years that I led a stage race. Now some hilly stages await, and we’re motivated to work hard for our GC [general classification] guys.”

Volta a Catalunya — selected standings after stage two
Stage one: Froome drops like a stone as Kron takes victory

Monday March 22 — Calella to Calella, 178.4km

Chris Froome — Chris Froome dropped and lost over eight minutes on stage one at Volta a Catalunya – GETTY IMAGES.

On Monday, Chris Froome endured a chastening day when the four-time Tour de France winner was dropped on the final climb of the first stage at the Volta a Catalunya before rolling over the finishing line 8min 30sec behind the winner and 8min 14sec adrift of the leading contenders.

Competing in his second race for Israel Start-up Nation following his move from Ineos Grenadiers, Froome, 35, told reporters he had just returned from an altitude camp and was not expecting to be challenging in Spain but was “hoping to see some progression”.

During last month’s UAE Tour, Froome labored before finishing 22 minutes behind Tadej Pogacar, leaving many questioning his ability to win a record-equalling fifth Tour. Following a career-threatening crash at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné, Froome has struggled to regain the form that made him his generation’s most successful grand tour rider.

The latest setback for Froome came as Spanish team Movistar put riders on the front of the peloton on the category one Port de Santa Fe del Montseny climb. As the pace increased, the number of fast men, including Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), was dropped, as was Froome, who lost contact shortly beyond the summit of the relatively benign-looking climb.

Andreas Kron, meanwhile, took the biggest prize of his career when he outmuscled Spanish champion Luis León Sánchez to win a sprint finish from a four-person break at the end of a hilly stage in the week-long race.

Kron, a first-year neo-pro with Lotto-Soudal, had won just one race at the Tour de Luxembourg. However, the 22-year-old announced himself by beating Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech), 37, while Rémy Rochas (Cofidis) was third, Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) fourth.

Geraint Thomas, who is riding as part of a strong-looking seven-man Ineos Grenadiers team featuring Richard Carapaz, Richie Porte, Adam Yates, Rohan Dennis, Jonathan Castroviejo, and Luke Rowe, finished safely in the bunch and went into Tuesday’s time trial on the same time as the bulk of the general classification contenders, 26sec adrift of Kron.


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