DVB on form at E3 as team retain Catalunya 1-2-3

26 Mar 2021

DVB on form at E3 as team retain Catalunya 1-2-3

E3 Harelbeke, 203.9km Volta a Catalunya - Stage 5 » La Pobla de Segur - Manresa, 201.1km Settimana Coppi e Bartali - Stage 4 » San Marino › San Marino, 154.8km

A packed day of racing saw Dylan van Baarle excel with a seventh place finish at E3 in Belgium. Adam Yates retained his overall lead in Catalunya, with the team also defending their 1-2-3 on GC. It was a more bruising day at Coppi e Bartali, but Ethan Hayter was still able to pick up a top-five.

Van Baarle put in a gutsy ride to force his way into the lead group ahead of the run into Harelbeke. Eventually taking seventh place in the sprint, the Dutchman's ride was a bright spot on the day.

Tom Pidcock and Owain Doull were also present in the second group on the road until the race blew apart over the final climbs. Jhonatan Narvaez was among a few Grenadiers to crash on Friday and was forced to abandon the race after going down with 119km to go.

On the flat run-in it was Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) who slipped clear to take an impressive solo win.

Stage five was clipped off at a rapid pace in Catalunya as the Grenadiers worked hard to keep control of the race. With splits and attacks, the team were happy to let a large group go from the peloton, with no rider proving an immediate threat to the team's GC trio.

The team set about pegging and then limiting the gap to ensure that not only does Yates still hold a 45-second lead, Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas remain on the provisional podium spots heading into the weekend.

Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) prevailed from the break, with the peloton arriving 1:59 later in Manresa.

The team had to battle through adversity in San Marino at Coppi e Bartali. Ethan Hayter continued to impress by taking fourth place on a hilly finishing circuit. His ride was all the more notable after having to battle back from a puncture with 9km to go. Ben Swift and Seb Henao rode superbly to return the Brit to the bunch.

Ivan Sosa went down in a crash on a descent with 40km to go. The Colombian also showed great spirit to return the front of the race, but that effort cost him in the closing kilometres. Despite that Sosa finished just five seconds back.

Sadly Carlos Rodriguez was forced to abandon the race after a crash. Following the roadside concussion check it was deemed that the Spaniard should stop. He headed to hospital for additional checks after the race.

Race leader Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) took the stage win to secure some valuable bonus seconds. Hayter and Sosa sit third (+11 secs) and sixth (+16 secs) respectively ahead of a hilly final day.