Lennard Kämna goes solo from the breakaway to take victory on stage five of Volta a Catalunya 2021

The day was filled with attacking racing but Ineos Grenadiers controlled the time gap to keep control of the race

Lennard Kämna took stage five of the Volta a Catalunya 2021 with a solo attack in the final 7km on the descent into the finish after a day full of attacking riding.

Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) went away on the final descent to Manresa after Carlos Verona (Movistar) was brought back. The large group of chasers in the break was disorganised and the young German went clear to victory.

The day was full on yet again with over 40 riders going up the road including some big climbing names, there were various attacks out of the group with Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) staying out the longest before being brought back on the final climb by the chasers.

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Behind, the peloton was yet again led by Ineos Grenadiers all day as Adam Yates keeps his lead over his team-mates Richie Porte at 45 seconds and Geraint Thomas at 49 seconds, in the podium spots.

How it happened

The 201.1km stage started in La Pobla de Segur before they took on some tough terrain with plenty of tricky climbs including the Coll de Comiols where the break got away as well as the Port de Montserrat then descending down to the finish in Manresa.

A total of ten riders went up the road, they were Marc Soler (Movistar), David De La Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Thyman Arensman (Team DSM), Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious), Bob Jungels (Ag2r-Citroën), James Knox and Rémi Cavagna (both Deceuninck – Quick-Step).

Image by Volta a Catalunya

There was a huge group of around 40 riders that caught the lead break with about 55km to go including Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma), Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates), Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) all in there with the best-placed man being Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel-Euskadi) who is just over four minutes down in the overall.

Just after that group made contact with the front break Cavagna went on a solo attack quickly pulling out a lead of 25 seconds. Reinhardt Janse Van Rensburg (Qhubeka-Assos) hit out to try and bridge to Cavagna but he was marked by Cavagna’s team-mate Dries Devenyns and was swiftly swallowed up again.

They had a maximum gap of around five minutes down, but the team of Adam Yates, Ineos Grenadiers started bringing the gap down again but the push on by Cavagna meant the chunk of time from him to the peloton was back over four minutes, with a minute over his chasers.

Cavagna hit the final climb with 33.3km to go holding a gap of 4-50 to the peloton and 1-55 back to the chasing group.

With 30km to go, Bizkarra went on the attack out of the chase group with Sebastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ) following to try and catch Cavagna upfront. Bizkarra was in the virtual overall lead at that point as he was 4-07 down at the start of the day.

Reichenbach and Bizkarra caught Cavagna with 26km to go as they went over the categorised climb line. The rest of the chasing group came across with Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo), Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Carlos Verona (Movistar) Martin and Knox being just some of the riders up there.

Verona, Kruijswijk and Kämna went away shortly after at the 23km to go mark. The gap to the peloton had halved though with the Ineos led group at 2-39. Uran, Martin, Reichenbach and Nicolas Edét (Cofidis) came across to the leading trio with Knox quickly joining.

Verona kicked yet again just before the descent hitting 97kph as the group grew behind to 12 riders chasing down the Spanish rider at 15km to go.

The Spaniard was brought back with 8km to go, Kämna was the next to kick on solo where he quickly pulled out a very solid gap. The German stayed away to take the stage win the third time of asking after going on the attack on stage one and four.

Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-Nippo) and Bizkarra went away in the closing 3km, taking the podium spots on the day.

Ineos Grenadiers kept the time gaps down comfortably holding onto their podium lockout in the overall classification with Yates holding 45 seconds over Porte and 49 seconds over Thomas heading into the final two stages.

Results

Volta a Catalunya 2021 stage five, La Pobla de Segur to Manresa (201.1km)

1. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, in 4-29-13
2. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo, at 39 seconds
3. Mikel Bizkarra (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 42s
4. Dion Smith (NZl) Team BikeExchange, at 44s
5. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
6. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
7. James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
9. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma, all at the same time.

General classification after stage five

1. Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, in 18-45-27
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers, at 45 seconds
3. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 49s
4. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team, at 1-03
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at the same time
6. Esteban Chaves (Col) Team BikeExchange, at 1-04
7. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 1-07
8. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo, at 1-20
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 1-29
10. Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange, at 1-32.