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Tadej Pogačar flies to another Volta a Catalunya HC-summit finish triumph

Tadej Pogačar flies to another Volta a Catalunya HC-summit finish triumph

For the second day in a row, Tadej Pogačar conquered a Volta Ciclista a Catalunya HC-rated summit finish, bolstering his lead. Wednesday’s queen stage also established Mikel Landa as the best bet to join Pogačar on the final podium Sunday in Barcelona. Landa is +2:27 of Pogačar and 28 seconds ahead of Aleksandr Vlasov. Michael Woods was 57th on the day and kept his 49th on GC.

The Course

Wednesday served up a double helping of nasty, with two HC-rated climbs to finish the day. The appetizer, Port de Cantó, was 25.5 km of 4.2 percent, and the entree was Port Ainé, 18.4 km of 6.7 percent.

A breakaway was built in pieces but it was allowed only a short leash, arriving at the foot of Port de Cantó 1:15 ahead of the UAE-Emirates-led peloton.

Derek Gee was out training and greeted one of the fugitives, teammate Steven Williams.

Early on the climb the fugitives were picked up after Visma-Lease a Bike took over pulling the field. The only person to make an attack that mattered was Astana’s Colombian Harold Tejeda, who popped out to take the KOM points atop Port de Cantó and take over the classification lead from Pogačar.

At the bottom of Port Ainé, Soudal-QuickStep showed its intent, further streamlining the peloton. Twenty-five chaps headed into the final 9 km.

With 7.3 km remaining Landa, clad in the climber’s jersey, made a move and Pogačar counterattacked. Landa couldn’t hold on but found a companion in Sepp Kuss. Vlasov and Enric Mas were prominent in the group behind Landa and Mas.

There he goes again…

Chris Harper reached Landa and Kuss with 3.8 km to go, a small group closing in on them. Landa dispatched both companions and ran solo.

Landa free.

After Harper was brought back by the chase group, Mas lit out for more time, but he was to be denied, Antonio Tiberi the surprise third place.
Thursday’s fourth stage is less grueling and one for the sprinters.

2024 Volta a Catalunya Stage 3

1) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) 4:34:25
2) Mikel Landa (Spain/Soudal-Quick Step)…

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