© Mario Stiehl

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2018, Roelandts overcome the sprint – Valverde gets the GC

Jurgen Roelands (BMC Racing) wins the last stage of the Volta a Comunitat Valenciana 2018 . The belgian preempts on Valencia’s finish line Danny Van Poppel (Lotto Nl – Jumbo) and Clement Venturini (Ag2r La Mondiale), by benefitting from Oliver Naesen’s slip at the last turn, which confused the two riders positioned ahead of former Lotto Soudal’s athlete. Nelson Soto (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) and Baptiste Planckaert (Katusha – Alpecin) complete the top five. The GC does not change, with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) picking the maximum result on Astana couple composed of Luis Leon Sanchez and Jakob Fuglsang.

Unlike yesterday’s race, the breakaway suddently hits the road. Six are the riders involved in the initial try of the day: Michal Kwiatkowski (SKY), Stefan Küng (BMC Racing), Domen Novak (Bahrain Merida), Rein Taaramae (Direct Energie), Thomas Sprengers (WB Veranclassic -AquaProject) and Ian Tratnik (CCC Sprandi), whose gap amount to 1’23” at kilometre 32. The peloton, led by Lotto Nl – Jumbo and EF – Drapac athletes, keeps the gap between 1 and 1 and half minute until the seventieth kilometre, a phase from which the advantage decreases progressively. As the peloton hits the Alto de Oronet, the only categorized climb of the day, the gap between the leaders and the group gets thinner, thanks to Team Sky’s pace in front of the bunch.

With 30 kilometers to go, when the leadership of the breakaway wobbles, Stefan Kung goes clear from the remaining breakaway (Taaramae throwed the towel on the Alto de Oronet) and begins a solo attempt. The swiss keeps a gap between 10 and 25 seconds during his personal time-trial against the peloton. When the leader is 10 kilometers to go the peloton, led by Movistar and Sky men, moves close to the BMC rider and calls off his try with 8 kms to the finish line. At this point the sprinters’ teams are called to action and Lotto Nl – Jumbo and Astana takes control of the lead. Sky tried to plow through it but the dutch team keeps the runner position of the bunch until Ag2r La Mondiale overcomes and approaches the sprint in the best position for Venturini. With 250 meters to go Oliver Naesen, who is driving the bunch, slips without carrying damage to other riders and in a situation of chaos Jurgen Roelandts prevail and crosses the finish line in first position. Regarding the General Classification, Valverde launches his 16th season as a pro with a prestogious and propitious win.

STAGE CLASSIFICATION

1 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing Team                                       2:58:26
2 Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
3 Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                                    0:00:01
4 Nelson Andres Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
5 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
6 Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7 Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
8 Yevgeniy Gidich (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
9 Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
10 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team                                  16:14:53
2 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team                               0:00:14
3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team                                    0:00:26
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott                                           0:00:37
5 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits                        0:00:48
6 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo                                          0:00:49
7 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team                                           0:00:54
8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott                                 0:00:57
9 Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing Team                                 0:01:03
10 Amaro Manuel Antunes (Por) CCC Sprandi Polkowice       0:01:09

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