There is nothing we like better than a race finish on a knife edge – the Pyreneees and hellingen provided us with two!
Volta a Catalunya Stage 5: Llivia to Vielha Val d’Aran, 212.9km
Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segefredo) swooshed down the technical descent to the finish by the seat of his pants to take his first victory since 2016. The Colombian just got the better of breakaway companion and ex IAM teammate Vergard Stake Laengen (UAE Emirates) on the run to the line. Third-placed Matej Mohoric took the descent with the seat of his pants on his top tube. Whizzing past his Bahrain-Merida teammate in full celebratory mode in the mistaken belief he was headed for victory. The top three on GC remain unchanged. However, Egan Bernal (Sky) reduced the gap to Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to 16secs thanks to a crafty 3sec intermediate bonus.
A Jarlinson win is a good day at VeloVoices Towers. Scroll through the images on Jarlinson’s instagram post. A quick translation reads…
“Today is a special triumph … to dedicate this triumph first of all to God, to my friend in particular to Markel Irizar who is going through a difficult time he and his family, also my old dear who although he is not by our side I always remember him “DAD HERNAN” to my family especially to my son that always says DAD eats a lot of fruit and you will see that you win 😂😂😂😂 all my followers and friends who always believe in me, my teammates at Trek-Segafredo THANK YOU”
There’s something so wistful about this image from Ian Walton…
Full race report at Cycling News
Record Bank E3 Harelbeke: Harelbeke to Harelbeke, 206.5km
A tenacious Niki Terpstra added the E3 Harelbeke trophy to the one he took at Le Samyn a month ago after attacking on the Taaienberg with 75km to go. Teammate Philippe Gilbert strolled over the line to make it a Quick-Step Floors one-two, with Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) taking the sprint for third
Video… Watch out for the handsling between Greg Van Avermaet and Sep Vanmarcke. Can we also admire the excellent commentary team Magnus Backstedt and Declan Quigley.
There’s a pattern
Terpstra’s solo ride was immense, but this victory belongs to the Wolfpack …
…they might need to work on that howl though
From the moment a huge crash held up around three quarters of the peloton the Quicksteppers didn’t put a pedal stroke out of place.
They drove the first group away when the bunch split. Yes, this is Belgium in springtime, there are no unwritten rules here. They stormed the Taaienberg allowing Terpstra to jump clear with teammate Lampaert – who rode himself into the ground to keep their advantage.
Gilbert and Zdenek Stybar rode down every counter attack and disrupted the strong chase group to give Terpstra the seconds he needed.
It was textbook. It didn’t stop twitter from thinking it all might turn out otherwise…
And for the races ahead?
You’ve won Roubaix once Niki, let someone else have a cobble please *cough* Stybar *cough*
Many teams had a hard chase to get their leaders back into contention after the crash. Here’s a couple of tales from the back…
Welcome to the cobbles Senor Landa…
Only 95 riders finished the race and Landa finished a very creditable 86th after being caught behind the crash. Nairo Quintana takes on the Dwars Door Vlaanderen next week, with Valverde set to start the Tour of Flanders. Movistar are covering all the bases.
He kept his promise
Greg and the chocolate bike
Full race report at Cycling News
Header image: Niki Terpstra Quick-Step Floors