Grenadiers clinch Catalunya podium lock-out

28 Mar 2021

Grenadiers clinch Catalunya podium lock-out

Volta a Catalunya - Stage 7 » Barcelona › Barcelona, 133km

The INEOS Grenadiers were equal to the task to secure a historic 1-2-3 overall at the Volta a Catalunya.
Adam Yates, Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas locked out the podium at the WorldTour event after a thrilling final day in Barcelona.
The team were forced to work hard over six laps of a relentless circuit around Montjuic. Movistar launched a number of attacks in a bid to make the top three but the Grenadiers were resolute. 
Luke Rowe got through a lot of early work as a large breakaway went clear ahead of the finishing circuit, soaking up some key bonus seconds along the way. Jonathan Castroviejo, Richard Carapaz and Rohan Dennis ensured the team had numbers to the fore, with Movistar finally splitting the peloton with three laps to go.
After fending off the challenge of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), it was Thomas who drove into the final kilometre to help seal an emphatic result. In addition to two stage wins and the first Catalunya podium lockout since 1960, the Grenadiers also secured the team GC. 


- Adam Yates

"It's been a good week. We started off with big ambitions and we ended up 1-2-3 on GC. There's not much more we can say really. It was the perfect team performance. Even today was a really tough day, especially with this climb. It's a lot steeper and harder than I remember, but the team had it under control. It's a really special day.

"We wanted to win the race but in the end we had three guys in really good positions. We worked perfectly together and we controlled the race from start to finish.

"Two years ago I was close, I just missed out on that win. Now to come back and take the top step is great, and it makes it more special to see my two team-mates on the other steps."

- Geraint Thomas

"It feels good to be back on the podium at a World Tour race. To be honest it was never really a goal at the start of the year to be going so well so early. But I've been working hard and each race I've felt better and better. The team here has just been incredible, as you've seen on the road. Morale is good and I'm enjoying racing with the boys. It's unbelievable really to have a 1-2-3. It's an amazing feeling.

"Everyone was communicating really well and we've got a lot of experience of defending the jersey. Today was the hardest day for sure - Movistar really attacked the race once we got on to the circuit. I was definitely in the hurt box for quite a few laps but I think everyone was. We stuck together well, had strength in numbers and were able to take morale off each other really and keep it under control."

Sunday also saw Gent-Wevelgem take place, with Dylan van Baarle continuing his strong form taking eighth place. The Dutchman was able to slip clear of a group in the closing kilometres to back up his seventh spot from E3 Harelbeke.

Michal Golas showed good legs once again to make the early lead group, with the Pole and Owain Doull finishing just behind the lead group. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) won the reduced group sprint to take victory.