Bradley Wiggins has moved a step closer to overall lead in the Volta a Catalunya (Tour of Catalonia) after an impressive turn of speed on the climb to the Pyrenees ski resort of Vallter 2000 and the stage three summit finish. Finishing in fourth place on the 180km route behind first/second-placed Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde (both Movistar) and third-placed Joaquim Rodriguez of Katusha, Wiggins was rewarded with the same time as Valverde (+6seconds), which now puts him within 10seconds of the overall lead.
Commenting on the dramatic end to the day, Team Sky’s Sports Director Marcus Ljungqvist said, ‘It was a good effort from the guys and it was great to see Brad getting up there at the end. He feels like he attacked too early but the most important thing is that he is up there and in a position to do that on the climb at the end of the stage… The escapees went early and Movistar and Katusha did a good job of controlling things. We joined in with Danny and Christian so that made it a slightly easier day for everyone. It just all came down to that last climb. There were a lot of fresh legs at the end but hopefully some people will pay more for the effort tomorrow than we will.’
The Volta a Catalunya continues with tomorrow’s 218km Llanars-Vall de Camprodon – Port Ainé-Rialp stage and concludes on Sunday March 24 in Barcelona.