Voigt takes breakaway Catalunya win
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Voigt takes breakaway Catalunya win

by Ben Atkins at 11:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Volta a Catalunya
 

Evergreen rider Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) proved that he still has what it takes to win by taking victory in stage 4 of the Volta a Catalunya between Oliana and Ascó. He beat breakaway companion Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis) in a two-up sprint, with stage 1 time trial winner Paul Voss (Milram) taking third 34 seconds later.

Today’s 208 kilometer stage finished off with a final circuit of 29 kilometers that included the second category Alt Paumeres, which the peloton would have to climb twice. It took nearly 60 kilometers of racing before a group of eight formed which included Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R), Alexsandr Dyachenko (Astana), Nicolas Castroviejo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Thibaut Pinot (Française des Jeux), Francesco Bellotti (Liquigas), Tomas Vaitkus (RadioShack), Sebastian Haedo (Saxo Bank) and Jurgen Van de Walle (Quick Step).

They arrived at the first ascent of the Alt Paumeres with a gap of 2'47 over the peloton with 60 kilometers remaining in the race, and by the time the crested the top, they were left with five after dropping Haedo and Vaitkus and the gap was down to 2'14.

Team 'old guy' takes control

The gap of the leaders continued to fall as they raced toward the second ascent of the Alt Paumeres, with an effort by the Caisse d’Epargne team only left them with only 40 seconds at the base. Voigt was the first to attack from the main bunch on the climb, and picked off the five breakaways as he powered to the top, with Efimkin being his last victim at 25 kilometers to go.

Voigt was 10 seconds to the good when he started the descent, while behind Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) and Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) attacked the peloton on the way down joining the flying German with less than 20 kilometers remaining in the stage. The trio held a tenuous lead on the motivated peloton, with Kreuziger unable to hang on to his two breakaway companions, falling off with just over 10 kilometers remaining. At 5 kilometers to go the duo still had 25 seconds on the main bunch and two kilometers later the German and Estonian knew they would soon be battling it out for the stage. On the run into the finish it was Voigt that showed his 38-year-old legs were still able to score a win, easily dispatching of Taaramae as they approached the finish.

This makes two days in a row that Saxo Bank has pulled off victories, including Danish teammate Matti Breschel's winning ride in Dwars door Vlaanderen yesterday.  The team needs to find a replacement sponsor for Saxo Bank in order to continue in 2011, and team owner Bjarne Riis will be thrilled with the latest developments.

Tomorrow's stage five will take the peloton over four categorized climbs during its 181 kilometer trip from Ascó to Cabacés, with the category two Alt de la Figuera just over 10 kilometers from the finish.

2010 Volta a Catalunya stage 4 results:
1. Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) 04.43.28
2. Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis) s.t.
3. Paul Voss (Milram) @ 34s
4. Michel Kreder (Garmin-Transitions)
5. David Loosli (Lampre-Farnese Vini)
6. Jérémy Roy (Francaise Des Jeux)
7. Josep Jufré (Astana)
8. Daniel Moreno (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
9. Robert Kiserlovski (Liquigas-Doimo)
10. Igor Anton (Euskaltel - Euskadi)

Overall standings after stage 4:
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) 13h 48m 14s
2. Xavier Tondo (Cervelo TestTeam) @ 10s
3. Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) @ 46s
4. Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) @ 48s
5. Nicolas Roche (AG2r La Mondiale) @ 1m 20s
6. Kristijan Koren (Liquigas-Doimo)
7. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions)
8. Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) @ 1m 22s
9. Michel Kreder (Garmin-Transitions) @ 1m 24s
10. Janez Brajkovic (Radioshack) @ 1m 25s

 

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