Yates climbs into Catalunya lead

24 Mar 2021

Yates climbs into Catalunya lead

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Volta a Catalunya - Stage 3 » Canal Olimpic de Catalunya › Vallter 2000, 203.1km

Adam Yates took a dominant climbing victory at Vallter 2000 to move into the race lead at the Volta a Catalunya.

The Brit claimed his first victory as a Grenadier in style, taking a 13-second solo victory, but crucially moving into a 45-second overall lead.

The team had a number of cards to play on the steep climb, with Richard Carapaz following accelerations before Yates launched his own move with 5km to go.

After dislodging Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Yates was able to replicate his stage victory from 2019 in Spain.

Geraint Thomas finished fourth, 31 seconds back, while Richie Porte took ninth, but did enough to move into second place overall. Thomas sits fourth to make it a Grenadiers 1-2-4, with another summit finish to follow on Thursday.
Yates took his first Grenadiers win, 24 hours after Rohan Dennis achieved the same feat

Yates took his first Grenadiers win, 24 hours after Rohan Dennis achieved the same feat

Reaction

- Adam Yates

"I feel good. We had to keep the breakaway under control because in the beginning they gained a lot of time. We had to bring it back and bring the gap down before the bottom of the climb. It’s a long and hard climb, so we knew even if they had a couple of minutes at the bottom we could bring it back. 
 
"Everything was perfect – and then in the end we had cards to play as we knew from the beginning. We played them well, with Richie going in the early move, then I came across and then just kept on going. It’s a first victory for my new team – I’m really happy.
 
"It’s always hard to tell (when to attack). Obviously two years ago I also went really well here. I just felt good and I was hoping to bridge across to Richard Carapaz – then we could start working. In the end I had enough momentum and enough speed to go straight past. I still had (Sepp) Kuss and Alejandro (Valverde) with me, but in the end I managed to drop them. 
 
"Tonight we’ll sit down and have a look at the GC. First we’ll celebrate today and take it from there."
The racing was also hotting up over at Settimana Coppi e Bartali, with Ivan Sosa taking second place on day two, moving to within a second of the overall lead.

The Colombian was narrowly edged out by Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) at the line, with Ethan Hayter also finishing fifth on the stage, four seconds back. The pair occupy strong GC positions heading into the next phase of the race. 

Sadly Eddie Dunbar was forced to abandon the race after being caught up in a crash. The Irishman headed to the hospital during the stage for scans.
Volta a Catalunya overall standings:

1. Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) 9:44:21
2. Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers) +45"

3. Joao Almeida (Deceunick-Quick-Step) +50"
4. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +53"
5. Wilco Keldermam (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:03"