7th Place for Enrico Gasparotto on Stage 4
Stage 4 – Llívia (Montferrer-58km) – Igualada – 136,3 km
Igulada, 23rd March – Stage 4 of Volta Ciclista A Catalunya started from Montferrer, 58 km from the planned route, due to heavy weather conditions. Despite a hectic start, Enrico Gasparotto used his strength and experiences and finished 7th.
In the mountains of Pirenei where today’s stage began, snow was falling from the early morning hours. Therefore the race jury decided to shorten the stage for 58 km, with start in Montferrer.
The track had a continuous descent in the first half and two climbs: Alt De Pubil (Cat. 3) and Turó del Puig (Cat. 2).
Soon after 15 km a breakaway group was formed with 5 riders and a gap up to 3,5 minutes. BAHRAIN MERIDA riders were stable in the peloton. Right after the feed zone the race started to get more dynamic. Before Turó Del Puig and 18 km to finish, the group was compact with a couple of Astana riders, a block of 4 Orica-Scott riders, pairs of Cofidis, BMC, SKY and Movistar riders at the very front of peloton. During the descent and the rush for good pre-finish positions started lots of tactics and regroupings. In the last kilometres BAHRAIN MERIDA riders, Tsgabu Grmay and Enrico Gasparotto, were in the front part of the peloton. Enrico Gasparotto took his chance and used his good position after the last turn, just before the sprint, and took 7th position.
Enrico Gasparotto commented after the race: “Today was a stage that I was waiting for and I knew that it would suit me a lot. I was in the front during the climb. In the final sprint I was a bit too behind. I was afraid of the last corner and of a potential crash, because the asphalt is not so great here. I took no risks. But I could still manage a good placement.”
Harald Morscher, sports director, added: “I think the 7th place for Enrico is great, because when you look at it there were really good sprinters in the front with him today and I think he did a god job. Regarding the stage, it was really tricky and hard because we were in a rush to come to the start and from the start we had only a couple of minutes to prepare so all together was a little bit hectic but the guys still did a good job. Especially Domen Novak made a good effort today for Enrico and helped him through the whole day. We are happy for our young guys and we are looking forward to their good future also.”