Dan Martin fights to stay in touch after feast of racing in Catalunya

Posted on: March 28th, 2019
Dan Martin fought all the way yesterday and did the same again today on what was a brutal finish to stage 4 at Volta a Catalunya. He lost some time but is still well in contention.


The Volta a Catalunya start list looked star-studded when it was unveiled and the racing hasn’t disappointed so far; Ireland’s Dan Martin in the thick of it again today.

The UAE Team Emirates rider lost some time on today’s stage 4 but he is still in contention overall.

Indeed he has slipped just one place in the standings, sitting 5th some 46 seconds behind new race leader Miguel Angel Lopez (Asana).

The Colombian assumed the leader’s jersey today from stage 1 winner Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) by winning today’s stage solo.

Lopez (25) was 16 seconds ahead of yesterday’s winner, and now nearest challenger, Adam Yates of Mitchelton-Scott on the summit finish of La Molina.

Dan Martin, who battled so well to 3rd place yesterday, lost a not insignificant 42 seconds to Lopez, finishing 11th on the stage.

And while that time loss only cost him one place in the general standings, he now has a lot of time to make up.

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Marc Soler (Movistar) leads Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-hansgrohe); the two survivors from the breakaway who very nearly made it all the way.
Lopez was too strong up the final climb, even for Bernal and Yates. He took an impressive solo win and has also assumed the race leader’s jersey for his efforts.

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Going into today’s stage he was in 4th overall and while he was 33 seconds down on leader De Gendt he was only six seconds off Yates and three off Egan Bernal (Team Sky).

However, all the main Catalunya protagonists put time into Dan Martin today; Lopez, Yates, Bernal and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) after the final climb was scaled twice, from different sides, inside the final 40km.

Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-hansgrohe) and Marc Soler (Movistar) survived from the early 25-man breakaway until the deep into the stage.

When Lopez climbed away from the main favourites group on the finish mountain, he was the only one to catch and pass the two early escapees.

The Colombian looked in total control when he went with about 8.5km remaining and then again with 5km to go.

After the first attack Dan Martin was in trouble; unable to follow when Bernal, Yates and Quintana moved after Lopez and caught him.

And when Lopez attacked for the second time and distanced Yates, Bernal and Quintana, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Wilco Kelderman (Jumbo-Visma) would ride across to that trio.

Unfortunately Martin was just back the road a little, though he rode well to limit his losses.

After Lopez took his solo win, Mühlberger survived to claim 2nd on the stage and Solar 3rd; both 16 seconds down on Lopez.

Bernal, Yates and Quintana finished with the two early breakaway men, all on the same time some 16 seconds behind Lopez.

Quintana was just three more seconds back with Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma).

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