The expected battle took place once again. Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic were above the competition at the Volta a Catalunya today, but this time around Evenepoel took the stage win.
Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Maxim van Gils (Lotto Dstny), Simone Petille (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Jefferson Cepeda (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Filippo Zana (Team Jayco AlUla) and Niklas Eg (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) formed the day's breakaway. A threatening group whose gap reached five minutes at it's maximum.
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It didn't seem early on as if there were intentions in the peloton to bring back the break, but that soon was proved wrong by Soudal - Quick-Step. With a strong mountain team present, they began pushing the pace in the penultimate climb of the day, a steady pace that saw the gap slowly fading and the peloton slowly losing riders.
The race was rather calm but draining, with the breakaway slowly being reeled in by the peloton led by the Belgian team. On the slopes of the climb to La Molina van Gils was the last rider to be caught with 8 kilometers to go. Quick-Step was setting up an attack, with Ilan van Wilder setting a strong pace that not too many could survive. Despite the shallower gradients, Remco Evenepoel proved that work had a purpose.
Evenepoel attacked with 4.2 kilometers to go. It wasn't an explosive attack but instead a long acceleration, but Primoz Roglic managed to respond. He was the only one in fact, as UAE Team Emirates took up the responsibility in the chasing group. Roglic did not collaborate with Evenepoel but the World Champion did not let the attack die down.
But this time around Evenepoel had the best legs, launching the sprint and carving a gap to Roglic. A strong and convincing win that was quite important for the Belgian. Roglic arrived second. In the chasing group Giulio Ciccone led the rest of the field to the line.
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