Lennard Kämna goes solo for sensational victory on Volta a Catalunya stage 5
Stage 5 of the Volta a Catalunya wasn’t listed as a mountain stage, but there was enough climbing over its 200km parcours to tire out the riders and show who still had the legs to take time in the GC standings
However, with the terrain almost tailor made for a breakaway win, there was a flurry of attacks from the very start of the stage, and in spite of some desperate attempts in the bunch to shut these down, the attacks and counter attacks wore the bunch down and it was a split in the peloton that led to the day’s break forming, with Ide Schelling playing an instrumental role in making it stick, teaming up to create a group of four that built a lead of 1:45, with a huge group of forty behind them, with Lennard Kämna and Ben Zwiehoff representing BORA-hansgrohe here.
With 80km remaining, Ide’s group was joined by six others to form a group of ten, holding a slim lead over the chasers with the main peloton nearly four minutes behind before the chasers and the break regrouped with 45km to go and a solo rider attacked from the front here.
With a first category climb separating this bunch from the finish, there was a dramatic slowing down after the incredibly fast speeds seen earlier in the stage. It was with 25km to go that Lennard bridged to the front with a few others, before going away on his own with 12km left, a brave move after his tremendous efforts yesterday.
The German built a slim lead as the riders behind him struggled to work together to bring him back. On the flat with just a couple of kilometres left, Lennard went into time trial mode, taking the time to enjoy his incredible solo victory, punching the air in delight as he crossed the line 39 seconds ahead of his chasers.
Lennard Kämna said at the finish line, “I’m very happy with this victory. Yesterday, I tried this already, but I went a little bit early. I didn't have the best legs in the first part of the stage today and I just made it to the group. However, on the last climb I was feeling strong again, so I gave it another shot and I’m happy that in the end, it worked out. It’s a fabulous feeling – it’s my first race of the season and it’s great to be here in good shape and to take a victory. I had a really good feeling at the moment I attacked. Everyone was watching one another and they were a little annoyed that we weren’t working well, so it seemed the right time to try. There are a couple of stages still left, so we’ll always keep trying.”
VIDEO: 2021 Volta a Catalunya Stage 5 Highlights
2021 Volta a Catalunya Stage 5 Top 10
1 Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 4:29:13
2 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo 0:00:39
3 Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:42
4 Dion Smith (NZl) Team BikeExchange 0:00:44
5 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation
6 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
7 James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
8 Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
9 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
10 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
2021 Volta a Catalunya GC after Stage 5
1 Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 18:45:27
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:45
3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:49
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:03
5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange 0:01:04
7 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:07
8 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo 0:01:20
9 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:29
10 Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange 0:01:32