Adam Yates, Ineos Grenadiers’ new signing, was the strongest climber in the Volta a Catalunya, and he laid the ground for his GC win with a solo win at Vallter 2000. But Ineos were so strong that they took the top three places overall. Their DS Brett Lancaster explains how.

Taking the top three was not just a first for the team; one of our Spanish mechanics said it was the first time it had happened in Catalunya since 1960 so it was an awesome result. We were looking for it too: if we had sent Adam up the road on that second Pyrenean stage, I’m pretty sure he could have taken that out. But instead we opted to ride a bit more comfortabl­y and go for the one-two-three.

We knew Adam was going really well, and Richie [Porte] had been chasing a few Strava records round Monaco the week before. G [Geraint Thomas] was a bit more of a surprise. We’d seen he was moving in the right direction in Tirreno but wasn’t quite there and again in the Volta he didn’t have the best TT, though it wasn’t bad. But then on the Vallter summit finish, when he could follow, we thought,

‘Ah, here we go’.

It wasn’t just thanks to the top three guys. Luke Rowe’s knowhow was crucial. The day after the Pyrenees we had some big groups going up the road and it took forever for the numbers of the riders to come through on the race radio. But Luke is brilliant with rememberin­g numbers on GC, so when he told us that a Euskadi guy who was up there was four minutes down overall, we could trust that 100 per cent.

The last stage was very stressful. A huge group went up the road, and there were a few race radio reports, that turned out to be wrong, saying that Wilco Kelderman was in on the move. So we really quickly pulled that back in and then let the big break go, but we knew Movistar were going to heavily invest in Valverde. Personally, I’d have let that group go and let things get a bit more messy and we could have lost one of the podium places. As it was, it worked out perfectly for us.

 ??  ?? Ineos were by far the dominant team in the overall at Volta a Catalunya
Ineos were by far the dominant team in the overall at Volta a Catalunya

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