Samuel Dumoulin and Rein Taaramae secured a one-two-finish for Cofiids on the penultimate stage in the Tour of Catalonia today. The pair came out on top of a 60-rider uphill bunch sprint in Barcelona’s Montjuich Park.
Overall, there was no change, with leader Joaquin Rodriguez finishing third behind the two Cofidis riders. Barring a major upset on Sunday’s flat stage, the Katusha leader should become the first Catalan to win his home race since Jose Recio way back in 1983.
After a long grind up the Meditteranean coast to Barcelona the day’s racing became a hilly criterium round the Montjuich park, with the bunch all together at the start of three four-kilometre laps.
Whilst the out-and-out sprinters were dropped by the constantly undulating course, an attack by Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) with one lap left was the only real attempt to stop a mass dash for the line by the 60-odd riders.
Cofidis and Katusha reeled the German in however, and then Taaramae set things up perfectly for Dumoulin to claim the stage win. Held close to where the Tour de France had a stage finish last July. At the same time, the Estonian remains in third place overall behind Rodriguez and Xavier Tondo (Cervélo).
Already the winner of the Etoile de Besseges this year, Dumoulin’s victory is Cofidis’ twelfth this season and comes just 24 hours after the company announced it would continue sponsoring the squad, one of France’s oldest, for another two years.
“We had three opportunities this Saturday to thank the sponsor’s decision with a victory, in Harelbeke, Catalonia or the Criterium International, and it’s worked out here,” team manager Eric Bouyer commented afterwards. “Getting a one-two finish is the icing on the cake.”
Tour of Catalonia, stage 6, 161.9km
1. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis
2. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Cofidis
3. Joaquin Rodriguez (Esp) Katusha
4. David Loosli (Sui) Lampre
5. Aitor Galdos Alonso (Esp) Euskaltel Euskadi
6. Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack
7. Roman Kreuziger (Rus) Liquigas
8. Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Caisse d’Epargne
9. Paolo Tiralongo (Por) Astana
10. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Transitions