Breakthrough win for Vernon at Volta a Catalunya

Breakthrough win for Vernon at Volta a Catalunya

Ethan Vernon became the latest rider to take his first pro victory in the colors of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, after a phenomenal sprint in Vilanova i la Geltrú, where the 206.3km stage 5 concluded. Having joined the Wolfpack ahead of this season, Vernon already showed his speed in several races, including this week on stage 2 of the Volta a Catalunya, where he finished just off the podium.

On the longest day of this edition, which featured some climbs and rolling roads that didn’t make things easy for the sprinters, Ethan was helped to overcome these challenges by his fantastic teammates. The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl boys worked hard to keep him out of the wind and in a good position in the chaotic last 20 kilometers, where the GC men also featured prominently, fighting for bonifications at the Panta de Foix intermediate sprint.

Despite some headwind on the finishing straight, Vernon measured the sprint perfectly and hit out first, 200 meters from the line, producing a spectacular acceleration and nudging past all of his opponents. So dominant was the 21-year-old Brit’s victory that he had plenty of time to celebrate his success, punching the air several times.

“I had the confidence in myself and knew I had the legs after stage 2, because I wasn’t that far off there despite making some mistakes. It was a fast stage today, with the GC riders splitting the field as they went for the intermediate sprint, but I managed to hang in there with the help of my team. This wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

“Coming into the season, I thought that a win in the second part of the year would be great, so that’s why doing it just three months since turning pro is brilliant, something I would have never dreamed of. I knew there was headwind at the finish, but I could maintain the speed despite opening up early and at 50 meters to go I began believing. To take my first pro victory with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, and on World Tour level of all the places, is unbelievable.”

 

Photo credit: ©David Ramos / Getty Images

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