Jurgen Roelandts (BMC Racing) won the final stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, beating Danny Van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Clement Venturini (AG2R La Mondiale) in a wet mass sprint.
The final stage of the Vuelta Valencia saw a predictable finish with a big bunch sprint deciding the final stage victor in Valencia. With only one category 3 climb coming 35km from the finish, the peloton had no problem bringing back the 6-rider break that escaped earlier on in the stage.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka looked to Scott Thwaites for the final, and while the Brit is not a thoroughbred sprinter, his impressive turn of speed made him our protected rider today. LottoNL-Jumbo and Team EF Education had the two main stage favourites in Danny Van Poppel and Sacha Modolo respectively, and took control of the stage.
Team Astana also came to the head of affairs in the final few kilometers to ramp up the speed. It was a technical run-in to the line on wet and greasy roads, making for a nervy bunch. Thwaites and Merhawi Kudus were the 2 Dimension Data riders mixing it with the fast guys in the end, unfortunately Thwaites lost position through the final corners in the last kilometer and Kudus rolled home as our best placed on the day, in 18th.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) would take out the overall victory after two impressive stage wins this week. Merhawi Kudus would be our best placed rider on GC, finishing 15th overall.
Bingen Fernandez – Sport Director
For today’s final stage we had to take a similar approach to how we raced stage 1. Let the main sprint teams control the race and then see what is possible in the final with Scott. It was a shorter stage but the weather and high speed still made it a difficult stage. This weather suited a rider like Scott and he showed in the final he was up for the fast finish but unfortunately was alone in the last kilometers and lost position.