Bernal bonus at Catalunya

25 Mar 2019

Bernal bonus at Catalunya

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Volta a Catalunya stage one: Calella to Calella, 163.7km

Egan Bernal is fifth overall after picking up a vital bonus second during stage one of Volta a Catalunya as Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) won and took the race lead.

Bernal finished third in the final intermediate sprint to earn the bonus, before finishing eighth in a bunch kick for the line following De Gendt's audacious solo victory which has given him a healthy lead on GC.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) managed to win the intermediate sprint and is fourth overall, with Bernal one second back heading in to stage two. 
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Nico Portal

Nico Portal

Egan took a bonus second.. Five kilometres before the intermediate we said ‘there’s still two positions available, Egan’ and he got third."
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Sport Director Nico Portal

“It was a harder first stage than in previous years because there was much more climbing, but everything was under control with the sprinters’ teams [at the front]

“Then when we were around halfway through the stage it was much more difficult in the second part today as De Gendt was pushing harder and it wasn’t possible for the bunch to catch him. We will see how De Gendt climbs as [with his lead] it means we will have to go really fast on the summit finish in order to  drop him.

“Egan took a bonus second, it wasn’t the plan, but five kilometres before the intermediate we said ‘there’s still two positions available, Egan’ and he got third."
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What's next?

Stage one was billed as a sprint finish, but the second day of Volta a Catalunya - which features three category three climbs - looks like it will suit the quick men much better.
Stage one result
1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) 4:14:32
2. Max Schachmann (BOra Hansgrohe) +2:38
3. Grega Bole (Bahrain Merida) +2'42"
4. Michael Matthews  (Team Sunweb)  s.t.
5. Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi Basque Country - Murias) s.t.
8. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) s.t.

Overall standings

1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) 4:14:32
2. Max Schachmann (Bora Hansgrohe) +2:48
3. Grega Bole (Bahrain Merida) +2'54"
4. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +2'56"
5. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) +2'57"

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