Volta a Catalunya 2015: Van Garderen powers to uphill win in La Molina

Volta a Catalunya 2015: Race results stage 4

1. Tejay van Garderen (usa)
2. Richie Porte (aus) + 0.03
3. Alberto Contador (spa) + 0.08
4. Daniel Martin (irl) s.t.
5. Wilco Kelderman (nld) s.t.
6. Darwin Atapuma (col) + 0.11
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (ita) + 0.15
8. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.19
9. Vasil Kiryienka (blr) + 0.21
10. Rafael Valls (spa) s.t.

11. Fabio Aru (ita) + 0.24
13. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 0.27
19. Bart de Clerq (bel) + 0.47
41. Pierre Rolland (fra) + 5.13
131. Chris Froome (gbr) + 27.49

General classification:
1. Bart de Clerq (bel)
2. Richie Porte (aus) + 0.21
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (ita) + 0.26
4. Daniel Martin (irl) + 0.27
5. Alberto Contador (spa) + 0.28
6. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 0.45
7. Fabio Aru (ita) + 0.48
8. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 0.51
9. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.52
10. Darwin Atapuma (col) + 0.54

40. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 15.59

Race report
With 3 km’s done in the Queen Stage, Tom Danielson, José Herrada, Jerome Coppel, Riccardo Zoidl and Chetout Loic are off. In the first 20 kilometres the pack keeps the five escapees on a leash but then the gap balloons. Halfway up the Alt de Bracons, with 55 km’s done, the difference is 7’15”. At the top Coppel takes most KOM points, Danielson is second, Herrada third.

Climbing up Alto de Coubet the break’s advantage is reduced significantly. Behind the five escapees Astana sets the pace and is tearing the peloton into pieces. Former leader Paterski is one of the victims. When cresting the gain is down to 2’52”. Herrada takes most KOM points, then Coppel, then Danielson.

At the Alt de la Creueta only Danielson, Herrada and Zoidl remain at the front of the race. The pack goes down to 20 riders with leader Pierre Rolland being dropped when Tinkoff-Saxo and Sky are setting the pace. At the top the gain of the escapees is 1’40”. Danielson takes most KOM points and is the new KOM leader. Pierre Rolland is 1’10” down on the group of favourites.

Danielson and Zoidl are the only remaining riders of the early break and on the lower slopes of the closing climb to La Molina they are gobbled up by the group of favourites. Kiryienka attacks and it is Tejay van Garderen who starts the chase. With 3 km’s remaining Contador accelerates and for a moment it looks like he is heading to the front of the race. Porte is in his wheel.

In the meantime Van Garderen did say goodbye to Kiryienka and while Contador and Froome go past the Belarussian they never get to the man in the lead. In the final kilometre Porte leaves Contador to race to second place. Along the way Dan Martin and Wilco Kelderman were able to hook up with El Pistolero and they finish fourth and fifth.

All eyes were on leader Pierre Rolland but smartly staying in the shades Belgian Bart De Clercq sneaks into first place.

Volta a Catalunya 2015 stage 4: Route, profile and more

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Tejay van Garderen

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