Peter Sagan on top with sensational sprint victory on Volta a Catalunya stage 6
Strong BORA-hansgrohe team effort puts Peter Sagan on the top podium step
It was going to take a certain kind of rider to take the win on stage 6 of the Volta a Catalunya. While the stage only featured two 3rd category climbs, the long 193.8km parcours was relentlessly choppy from start to finish. In spite of this, the stage was marked as one that the sprinters would want to be in contention for, with a long downhill stretch from the final climb of the day to the finish line in Mataró.
It didn’t take long for the day’s break to go out, but BORA-hansgrohe was a strong force at the front of the peloton, working to keep the escapees in check. While the five-man break was determined, the German team was more determined, never allowing the advantage to go beyond 3:30, and the gap coming time every time their riders came to the front. With Ben Zwiehoff and Wilco Kelderman on the front, the escape came within touching distance, and with just less than 20km left to go, the catch was made.
With Lennard Kämna on the front, sacrificing himself to protect Peter Sagan after his own stage win yesterday, as the kilometres dipped below double figures and the peloton readied themselves for a sprint. The speeds had stretched out the bunch with many riders caught out of position, but Peter was five riders back, biding his time and picking the right moment to start his sprint on the narrow, crowded roads. While the other sprinters were fighting amongst themselves, Peter squeezed through the middle of them and from this point he left them all behind. The Slovak rider crossed the line to take his first win of the 2021 season with a powerful sprint that put clean air between himself and second place.
Peter Sagan said from the finish line, "It was our goal today to go for the stage win, so the plan was to control the race from the start. I'd like to thank all my BORA-hansgrohe teammates for their effort, they controlled from start to finish. It was a fast and great race today. I came here after Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo without a break and we had six hard stages here at the Volta Catalunya, so I'm a bit tired. I'm happy with this victory, it's a good start to the season, especially after what I went through the two months before coming here. It wasn't an easy period but it looks nice now. We have one last stage tomorrow, a short but fast one, and I think the teams fighting for the GC will control it. We'll see however how it plays out."
VIDEO: 2021 Volta a Catalunya Stage 6 Highlights
2021 Volta a Catalunya Stage 6 Top 10
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 4:23:18
2 Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel Start-up Nation
3 Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
4 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Qhubeka Assos
5 Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
6 Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
7 Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM
8 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
9 Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
10 Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal
2021 Volta a Catalunya GC after Stage 6
1 Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 23:08:45
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