On tough finishing circuits around Montjuic, Mitchelton-SCOTT had numbers at the front all day, which set up Yates in a good position to launch his final move and take the stage win.
It wasn’t until the race entered the finishing circuits in Montjuic when the first breakaway of the day stuck. Eight-riders were finally able to jump ahead of the peloton and held a 30second advantage for the first lap.
Shortly after Daryl Impey bridged across to the group, and worked hard around the tough hilly lap, the advantage slowly increased to 40seconds, but with Movistar chasing hard behind, they weren’t given much freedom.
With 35 kilometres to go the breakaway of nine-riders were almost swallowed up by the peloton, but unwilling to give up, Impey attacked again and took three of the original breakaway riders with him and tried to keep a gap ahead of the bunch.
Yates launched from the bunch and across to Impey’s group which swelled back to seven riders with four laps to go.
Changes at the front:
Attacks started from the peloton and the front of the race continued to change. Race leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) jumped away from the reduced peloton as Impey and Yates were swallowed up and Carlos Verona followed, and found himself in the new front group with 18 kilometres to go it.
Marc Soler (Movistar), Pierre Latour (AG2R), Verona and Yates eventually led the race in the final two laps with Verona pulling hard to make sure the group wasn’t caught.
In the perfect moment on the final lap, Yates was able to jump away and cross the line solo to take another victory this season. The 25-year-old moved in to fourth place overall after second place on the general classification, Egar Bernad (Team Sky), took a fall on the final descent and was unable to finish the race.
Simon Yates- Stage 7 winner and 4th overall:
“It was very difficult and very fast from the beginning and the breakaway didn’t go until very late. I wasn’t sure if I could match the really fast guys here so I decided to try and go early and it paid off.”
“I came here with big ambitions and I wanted to try and finish on the podium but came a little bit short with fourth in the end. We kept trying everyday and laid it on the line even with the sprints for Impey and we can be proud of that.”
Volta Ciclista Catalunya final stage results:
- Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 3:28:04
- Marc Soler (Movistar) +0:13
- Pierre Latour (AG2R) +0:18
Final general classification:
- Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 24:56:48
- Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +0:29
- Pierre Latour (AG2R) +0:47
- Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:47
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.