Bradley Wiggins stays in the hunt on the Tour of Catalunya despite gruelling stage for Team Sky
British rider now fourth in the standings
Thursday 21 March 2013
Sir Bradley Wiggins kept himself in contention for overall victory at the Tour of Catalunya by digging deep on the race’s punishing queen stage.
The Briton crossed the line in sixth place, one minute, two seconds down on the stage winner Dan Martin, after Team Sky entered the final climb with depleted numbers, having earlier been forced to lead a taxing chase on the front of the peloton for most of the day.
Wiggins is now fourth in the general classification, 36 seconds behind new leader Martin from the Garmin-Sharp team, with Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) 10 seconds down in second and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 32 seconds adrift in third.
The Spaniard and Colombian launched late attacks out of a thinned-down peloton in the last 2km to take second and third respectively on the stage. That forced Wiggins to respond and thanks to a late surge, he crossed the line 24 seconds behind the duo despite losing team members who fell off the pace.
Team Sky had earlier led the chase in the peloton with Josh Edmondson, Dario Cataldo, David Lopez and Rigoberto Uran drivng up a fierce pace as they looked to usher leader Wiggins up to the front of the race.
Earlier in the day, overnight leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) abandoned the race after a crash on a speedy descent midway through the stage.
After the stage, Team Sky’s sports director Marcus Ljungqvist said: “Twenty-three guys went away and Movistar started controlling things, but then Valverde crashed out and it was then up to us to take control. We slowed down for Valverde, so the breakaway got more time – nearly 4:30 – but we managed to bring it back to about 1:20. But then Martin rode so well on the last climb and we couldn’t catch him. It is going to be difficult to challenge for the general classification, but second place is still up for grabs. The race is not over and we are not giving up. With all that happened today, we should look at ourselves and be pretty happy with our ride.”
The race’s fourth stage took the riders on a punishing 217km route over five categorised climbs from Llanars to Port-Aine Rialp.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0: Eight things we learnt as Blues step closer to the Premier League title
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Where are the tickets for the fight?
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho plays down news signings Nathan and Yoshinori Muto but talks up Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta needs 'five minutes' to sign new contract and remain with the Gunners
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...