Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Julian Alaphilippe finished 2nd in another bunch sprint finish at the 222.2km Volta Ciclista a Catalunya Stage 5 on Friday.
As the peloton caught an attacking Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) with a few kilometers to go, after descending to a flat finish, Rigoberto Uran led teammate Alaphilippe out in hopes for a victory. But the power of Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) proved once again to be too much for the peloton, as he won his third stage.
OPQS looks next to 163.9km Stage 6 of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya on Saturday.
“Today the stage was super fast at the beginning,” Alaphilippe said. “It was really hard to stay there near the front. In the final, before the last six or seven kilometers, there was a small climb. There I was well placed thanks also to the job of Pieter Serry and Gianluca Brambilla. Then we went downhill and I was good, but in the last kilometer I was a little bit far from the head of the peloton. I was more or less in 15th position. I had to do a real sprint to be near the front. I did a second sprint to try and win the stage, but of course it was impossible and I think the strongest won the race. But, also, I think I had good legs in this Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. At this point I’ve finished 4th, 3rd, and 2nd in sprints. So I can’t blame myself. I am also here to learn as I am young. Tomorrow it will be more of a stage for pure sprinters. If there is a chance I will try. On Sunday, I will try to honor a race until the end even if the parcours is difficult.”