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by Shane Stokes
March 26, 2018
Three Pete: Sagan holds off Viviani to take a third Gent-Wevelgem title; Bastianelli wins women’s Gent-Wevelgem; Yates wins final stage of Volta a Catalunya, Valverde takes overall; Ovechkin wins Tour de Langkawi, Guardini takes final stage; Rosa wins Settimana Coppi e Bartali, Tratnik best in final TT; Harper, Lucas win Oceania cycling championships; Bernal crashes out of Volta a Catalunya while in second overall, Martin also falls; Video: Amazing Cycling Descents – Sagan, Nibali, Cancellara
Two of the Volta a Catunya’s big names suffered a bad crash on the final stage in Barcelona on Sunday, with the final GC podium being upended as a result. Egan Bernal had looked set to take second overall but the Colombian hit the deck on the penultimate lap. He ran into a falling Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar). Former race winner Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) was also injured.
“Everyone is a little bit gutted,” said Team Sky Directeur sportif Brett Lancaster, speaking about Bernal’s DNF. “All the boys worked so hard, committed and rode themselves into the ground all week for him. To beat Valverde today I think we would have had our work cut out, but we would have been really happy with second place. Obviously that was all lost in the crash – but there was nothing Egan could have done.”
He has had an initial X-ray and will have further checks on his shoulder. Still, Lancaster is able to look on the bright side. “One thing we can take out of it, and we saw again today, was that it looked like Egan and Valverde were the strongest two in the race. No one else could follow Valverde when he moved, so you can see Egan is at that real elite level. It’s really promising for the future.”
Martin’s GC hopes didn’t pan out, but he hoped to turn things around with a strong final stage. Instead he too ended up on the deck, albeit with fewer injuries. “Today I would have liked to be aggressive,” he said via the team Twitter account. “I was waiting for the final lap for a strong attack, but we crashed: it seems we had a lot of bad luck here so far. It seems I’m not so badly hurt, @met_helmets did a very good job.”