Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) rocketed to win the bunch sprint as the end of stage six of Volta a Catalunya in Spain on Saturday.
Double stage winner Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) looked ot have the stage win sewn up after the bunch thinned outcoming around a 90-degree corner in the final 500 metres. However, he hadn’t counted on Gerrans’ acceleration as the Orica rider came around Meersman on the line to take the win.
Frenchman Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) place third.
“I’m really happy with the stage win,” Gerrans said after the stage. “It was a huge team effort today. Trav [Travis Meyer], Christian [Meier], Sam [Bewley] and Wes [Wesley Sulzberger] did a huge amount of work in the first couple of hours to cover the breakaway. They did a really fantastic job. After that, it was just a matter of Brett [Lancaster] and I taking care of our position ahead of the final.”
Race leader Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) continues to ride smartly, and made sure that he netted a further three bonus seconds by winning an intermediate sprint during the stage to increase his lead in the overall classification over second-placed Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).
The Irishman now has a 17-second advantage over Rodriguez overall, with Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in third at 45 seconds. Bradley Wiggins (Sky) is fourth at 54 seconds.
With only Sunday’s stage remaining in the WorldTour race, Martin’s race lead is far from sewn up. The Garmin leader will be mindful that last year Rodriguez broke free of the bunch on the energy-sapping finishing circuit with Philippe Gilbert (BMC) to grab some last-ditch seconds.
Volta a Catalunya 2013, stage six:
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
2. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
3. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis
4. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale
5. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing
6. Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun
7. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha
8. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky all same time
Overall classification after stage six
1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp in 26-16-22
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 17 secs
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 45 secs
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky at 54 secs
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 55 secs
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco at 1-07
7. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 1-18
8. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 1-26
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 1-28
10. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 1-30
Gianni Meersman can only look on as Simon Gerrans out-accelerates him to take the win
Race leader Dan Martin (left) with general classiciation rival Joaquim Rodriguez
Volta a Catalunya 2013: Related links
Stage six gallery
Canadian Parisien takes the win
Stage four: Martin marks solo stage win to lead race
Stage four gallery
Stage three photo gallery
Stage three: Quintana wins after Wiggins attacks
Stage two: Gianni Meersman makes it two from two
Stage one: Wiggins makes aggressive start in Catalunya