Three in a row for Australia: Ben O’Connor fastest on the Queen stage of the Tour of Catalonia
Ben O’Connor (AG2R) won the third stage of Round 101 of Catalonia (World Tour) on Wednesday. After 161.1 kilometers from Perpignan to La Molina, the 26-year-old Australian was six seconds ahead of eight chasers. Spaniard Juan Ayuso beat Colombia’s Nairo Quintana in second place. Ilan van Wilder was the best Belgian as he finished 14th with a time of nine seconds.
O’Connor is also the new captain after his first win of the season. He is 10 seconds ahead of Ayuso and 12 seconds ahead of Quintana. Van Wilder finished twelfth with a time of 19 seconds, while Henry Vandenabel finished fourteenth at the same time.
Also on the Catalunya tour, sick passengers destroyed the peloton. Michal Kwiatkowski never started again, the way Fausto Masnada and Tom Dumoulin succumbed and Michael Matthews vomited on the side of the track.
Mikel Bizkarra, Casper Pedersen, Simone Petilli and Ander Okamika opted for the early break, at a point where Movistar dominated the package, and the final would only collapse on the final climb. Robert Jesink opened the debates, and Pavel Sivakov, a rating outsider, was the first candidate to lose the role. The peloton double, at 8.5 kilometres, O’Connor showed good form and slipped away from the group of favorites, with Simon Yates, who also lost time in the fan podium on Tuesday, having to bow his head early.
O’Connor would be the worst, he didn’t weaken and due to the lack of organization behind him, he took the win on his own. Marc Soler tried again at the lock, as did Juan Ayuso and Nairo Quintana, but their actions came too late.
Top Five Rounds 3:
1. Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroen Team) 04:12:51
2. Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +06
3. Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic Team) +06
4. Sergio Higuita (Bura-Hansgrohe) +06
5. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +06
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