Lampaert comes close to podium in Spain
Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team was in the mix for the third successive day at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
Stage 3 had to wait around 30 kilometers for a breakaway to snap the elastic. When it happened, six riders – Julio Amores (Inteja), Aitor Gonzalez (Euskadi), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R), Daniel Lopez (Burgos BH), Ben Perry (Israel Cycling Academy) and Tyler Williams (Israel Cycling Academy) – built a gap which hit its maximum with 90 kilometers to go, when the escapees were 4:30 ahead. With the course being one for the sprinters, the teams weren't willing to let anything to chance, so they worked hard to bring them back with 26 kilometers left.
As the catch was made so early, this led to other attacks from the bunch, and it was Jos Van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) that decided to time trial his way to the finish in Riba-Roja de Túria. The large field wasn't fooled by the Dutchman and reeled him in with 12 kilometers to go. The finale was made a bit complicated by several tight bends and a 300-meter uphill drag, and Yves Lampaert got involved in the sprint, finishing fourth, behind Magnus Cort (Orica-Scott), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie).
It was Quick-Step Floors' third consecutive top 5 finish at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, a race which sees four of the team's riders – David De La Cruz (6th), who leads the combined classification, Zdenek Stybar (7th), Philippe Gilbert (8th) and Daniel Martin (10th) – sitting nicely in the top 10 overall with just two days to go. Next up is the brutal finish on Mas de la Costa, a 4km-long climb averaging 12.8%.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele