After another dramatic day in the Volta a Catalunya, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) rose to second overall after Chris Froome (Team Sky) lost significant time on the last mountain stage of the race.
The Spaniard was part of a 50-strong group that escaped during the opening hour of racing on stage 6. All of the GC contenders were present, bar Froome, who lost ground with his entire Sky outfit.
Contador’s Trek-Segafredo squad continued to put time into Froome, who dropped from second overall in GC to outside the top 20. On the final climb of the race, Contador launched a brief attack. However, the shallow gradient, coupled with the long distance between the summit and the finish in Reus, hampered his chances. In the end he sat up and waited for the Movistar-led field. Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott) won the stage ahead of race leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who extended his lead to 53 seconds over Contador.
“It was a tough stage. We did not know how the race was going to pan out but with intermittent rain expected we knew that we had to be attentive. There was a climb that wasn’t very hard, but with a complicated descent and we knew that we had to try to be well-placed,” Contador said of the early split that ended Froome’s hopes.
“I started the climb in the middle of the pack and until I got to the head I had to go quite strong, but I knew it was super important to start the descent in front. We went down very fast and when we got down the peloton had broken into a thousand pieces, as I knew was going to happen.”
The result means that Contador will likely finish second overall for the third time this season, having been the runner up in both the Ruta del Sol and Paris-Nice.
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