• Adam Yates was on the attack on Stage 3 of the Volta a Catalunya. (Getty)Source: Getty
Adam Yates claimed a major mountain victory on Stage 3 of the Volta a Catalunya as Thomas de Gendt held on to the overall lead.
Cycling Central

28 Mar 2019 - 5:44 AM  UPDATED 28 Mar 2019 - 12:07 PM

Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) claimed the 179km stage from Sant Feliu de Guixols to Vallter 2000 after sprinting away from a star-studded group of five which included Egan Bernal (Sky), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana).

Thomas de Gendt's (Lotto-Soudal) overall lead was cut to just 27 seconds with Yates and Bernal now in a position to take the lead on the next mountain stage.

"Last week I showed that I was in good condition, I came up short there and I really wanted to win today," Yates said. "On the climb, Bernal and Quintana were really strong, when they attacked I held back a little bit just to pace my effort and slowly, slowly came back to them.

"Then it was a bit of a game. Quintana didn’t really want to work and in the end, it was a sprint with 200metres to go and I managed to finish it off.

“Tomorrow we have another tough stage and another possibly for a stage win but we will see. So far so good, the team did a super job to look after me, so more of the same tomorrow hopefully.”

A group of 11 escaped in the early moments of the stage with the peloton allowing them to build a lead of over seven minutes.

As the race headed into the final 60km, with three hard first-category climbs remaining, the gap dropped to just four minutes and continued to decrease with every kilometre that passed, with Movistar then Mitchelton-Scott contributing to the workload.

As the bunch began the final ascent to the finish, the 11.2kilometre climb with a 7.6 per cent average gradient the group reduced further and the remnants of the break were caught with seven kilometres still to go.

The front of the race eventually whittled down to a group of 10 before Bernal and Quintana attacked with Yates in pursuit to bridge across.

As the front trio jockeyed for supremacy they were joined by Lopez and Martin into the final kilometre with Yates carrying more speed at the finish.