Severe winds lead to shortening of final stage of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, as Bryan Coquard takes the sprint win and Nairo Quintana the overall win
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) took overall victory in the 2017 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in Spain, after finishing in the peloton on Sunday’s final stage.
French sprinter Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) took the final stage honours in a close sprint with compatriot Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).
The stage was shortened by race organisers on grounds of safety after the day started with high winds and rain. After a later-than-scheduled start in Paterna, the riders took a short-cut into five laps of a 7.2km circuit around Valencia.
Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors) decided that he’d strike out from the off, launching an attacking initially followed by Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac).
Belgian Keisse used his form from riding Six Day races on the track over the winter to swiftly open up a half-minute gap in blustery conditions as Vanmarcke dropped off the pace and was caught by the bunch.
Keisse continued on his lone path until Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) bridged over to him into the final 20km. The pair then worked well together, taking turns to put their nose into the wind.
Heartbreakingly, the pair were caught by the bunch led by the sprinters within the final 100 metres, with Coquard taking the narrow victory. Keisse managed to hang on for fifth.
Quintana took the race lead after a solo victory on the race’s main climbing stage on Saturday. He finished the race 13 seconds ahead of runner-up Ben Hermans (BMC Racing), with former race leader Manuel Senni (BMC Racing) in third at 32 seconds.
Last year’s winner, Wout Poels (Team Sky), finished in fourth at 52 seconds.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2017, stage five: Paterna to Valencia, 36km
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie, in 1-01-23
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
3. Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
4. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
5. Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
6. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
7. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott
8. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy, all same time
Final general classification
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, in 15-21-49
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing, at 13 secs
3. Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing, at 32 secs
4. Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, at 52 secs
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors, at 1-09
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, at 1-42
7. David De La Cruz (Esp) Quick-Step Floors, at 1-53
8. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data, at 2-13
9. Steven Kruiswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo, at 2-12
10. Jonathan Castroviejo (Esp) Movistar, at 2-25