Final KM: Volta a Catalunya Stage 3, Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde

Unexpected breakaway excitement in Spain and a sprint win out of nowhere in West Flanders.

Volta a Catalunya Stage 3: Sant Cugat to Camprodón, 153.2km

Snow and the risk of avalanche denied us a summit finish on Vallter and the re-jigged stage had more than a whiff of a day for the breakaway about it. Step forward Lotto Soudal’s Thomas de Gendt. The Belgian joined the break in the first kilometres, dropped his companions on the final climb and rode solo to claim stage victory, king of the mountain’s jersey and a 20sec race lead in a blaze of golden-hued glory. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), part of a strong chasing quartet, just managed to stay ahead of the peloton to round out the podium.

Video

Chapeau…

Full race report at Cycling News

Race Website Race Twitter #VoltaCatalunya

Driedaagse De Panne-KoksijdeBrugge to De Panne, 202.4km

Elia Viviani delivered Quick-Step Floors their 17th win of 2018. The Olympic Omnium champion was nowhere to be seen with 300m to go, then exploited the gap that opened with lightening speed to grab the victory from BORA-hansgrohe’s Pascal Ackermann and Jasper Philpsen (Hagens Berman Axeon).

Video (we pick it up with 3.5km to go)…

Embed from Getty Images

What on earth happened to the Three Days of De Panne?

Not only is it in different place on the cobbled race schedule but it’s also changed format to two one-day races – one for men and one for women. The full story on what lead to these changes can be read on Cycling News. I loved this race in it’s traditional mid-week slot between Gent Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders. The three road stages offered up a day of racing on the Muur de Geraardsbergen, the promise of echelons across the De Moeren, and a final day with a fast and furious sprint in the morning followed by an afternoon of coastal, corner-laden time trialing. It never failed to produce some thrilling racing – let’s not forget  that last year Quickstepper Philippe Gilbert had a practice solo raid here before his ride to Tour of Flanders glory. The race organisers have re-invented and I fully applauded for that and wish them every success in the future. But I’m sad they had to, angry to see it pushed out of the way and I… I just miss it.

Yer man loves a break…

While Mr De Gendt held court in Spain, another rider who loves some breakaway action was once again off the front in Belgium. Aqua Blue’s Conor Dunne is man after my own heart…

Everybody loves him…

Full race report at Cycling News

Race Website Race Twitter #Driedaagse

Header image: Thomas de Gendt – David Ramos/Getty Images

One thought on “Final KM: Volta a Catalunya Stage 3, Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde

  1. Pingback: Volta a Catalunya 2018: Something old … something new | VeloVoices

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