Volta a Catalunya: Bagioli takes first World Tour win
Andrea Bagioli capped off a great week for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at the 101st edition of the prestigious World Tour race, notching up the victory in Barcelona from a select group at the end of an explosive 138km stage that took in six ascents of Montjuic – the decisive climb of the 1973 World Championships.
Despite being short, the hill played an important role, whittling down the peloton and inspiring several riders to try and go clear on the steepest part, just before the top. The last time up, seven men broke away and carried a good gap on the descent, but a lack of collaboration allowed the chasers, among whom was also Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Italian, to bridge across.
As the regrouping took place with a whisker over one kilometer to go, Andrea moved through the field boldly and decisively, entering second wheel on the final stretch and kicking out in the final 100 meters to clinch the biggest success of his career so far and the Wolfpack’s 17th win this season.
“I wanted to try and fight for the victory today, because the laps with that short and steep climb suited me. On top of that, I made sure of not going too hard in the last two days and keeping some energy for this stage, which was tough, with lots of attacks in the last two laps. On the final climb, I was dropped, but managed to come back on the descent just ahead of the flamme rouge and sprint for the win. I wasn’t sure of the victory, because I initially thought there were other riders in front, but seconds after crossing the line I was told by my team and couldn’t believe it.”
“This win, my first in a World Tour race, means a lot to me. It wasn’t the easiest start to the season, with a couple of setbacks, but I continued to believe in myself and the team supported me all the time. We had a good week here, with the wins brought by myself and Ethan, and these results will only feed our confidence for the next races”, said the first Italian in three years to win a stage at the Volta a Catalunya.
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