Wout Poels started off a banner day for Team Sky Friday with his solo Volta a Catalunya stage win, which was followed in short order by Michal Kwiatkowski’s victory at E3 Harelbeke. Ian Stannard continued the run for the British team by taking the sprint for third in Belgium.
Poels escaped from a day-long breakaway with about 15km remaining in the 187.2km Volta a Catalunya stage that started in Rialp, then held off a chasing group of four riders that included Dario Cataldo (Astana), Gaetan Bille (Wanty – Groupe Gobert), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data) and Carlos Verona (Etixx – Quick-Step).
The field, led across the line more than half a minute later by Simon Gerrans (Orica-Greenedge), included Nairo Quintana, who held onto his overall lead despite intermediate sprint efforts from Dan Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) that netted time bonuses of three and one second, respectively.
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