Our British neo-pro came close to his first podium of the season.

Ethan Vernon got another opportunity to try his hand in a bunch sprint and didn’t disappoint, finishing just outside the podium on stage 2 of the Volta a Catalunya, which took the peloton across the border to Perpignan for the first time in almost seven decades.

Three classified climbs and several unranked others didn’t stop the stage from coming down to a mass gallop, albeit a small one, after the crosswinds split the peloton with 20 kilometers to go. Protected by his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl teammates, including Dries Devenyns and Pieter Serry, Ethan made it in the first group, which contested the sprint in the French city that seven centuries ago served as the capital of the Kingdom of Majorca.

Fourth on the line, the 21-year-old Brit nabbed his second top 5 of the season after the one he got at the Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré, a morale-boosting result: “We knew it was going to be windy, but the team did an awesome job. They worked hard for me and I’m grateful to them. The finish was a normal one for a bunch sprint and I was where I needed to be going under the flamme rouge, but had to hit my brakes with a several hundreds of meters to go and then had to start again, which didn’t help in the end. Still, top 5 at this level is a good result and now I’m looking forward to the next stages.”

 

Photo credit: ©David Ramos / Getty Images

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