News | Volta a Catalunya • March 23, 2018
Laengen nearly finishes off his winning escape
UAE Team Emirates's Norwegian second behind Pantano after a day on the attack
Vegard Stake Laengen spent a long 190 kilometres in the escape group trying to take his first WorldTour win. He went free with 11 others in the fifth stage of the Volta a Catalunya, the 212.9-kilometre day to Vielha Val d’Aran with three hard climbs. He could not pull it off, though.
The generous Norwegian (in photo, he’s assisted by the sports director Vicino), used to long escapes, was just beat near the finish by Colombian Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo). On the last climb of the course, after the tunnel of Vielha (-14 km to the finish), Laengen and Pantano rode free and held off the classification men on the descent. Pantano took the glory, however.
Martin and Ravasi crossed the line with the main group, 14 seconds off the winner. In the race overall, the Irishman is 18th overall at 1’54” from the overall leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
Atapuma crashed at the start of the race, but was able to rejoin the group before the line despite some bruising on his left knee and problems with his right hand, which will be looked at tonight by our medical team.
“It was positive day for me for many reasons” Laengen said. “I‘m in good condition, even if it’s only my second race of the season, and I had the team giving me the green light to try to take advantage of the escape.
There were some tough riders in the group, the final was very tough, so the situation was hard to control. The head-wind did not allow for a solo attack. I considered Pantano a good companion to try to get away to the line and hold off the classification group behind from returning. After the roundabout, I didn’t have good position to be well-place for the sprint. It’s bad I lost this good occasion.”
Stage 5 results
1 Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo) 5h20’53”
2 Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.
3 Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) 10″
General classification after stage 5
1 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 22h22’05”
2 Egan Bernal (Team Sky) 16″
3 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 26″
18 Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) 1’54”