Adam Yates. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Adam Yates won the Tour of Catalonia on Sunday with teammates Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas completing an all Ineos Grenadiers podium atop Barcelona’s Montjuic.
This trio held on to the first three places despite efforts to dislodge them in the 133 kilometre closing stage around Barcelona, principally by home team Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde.
Yates topped the general classification by 45sec from Porte with Wales’ 2018 Tour de France champion Thomas third at 49s.
“We started off with big ambitions and we ended up 1-2-3 on GC. It was the perfect team performance,” Yates said after success on his first big race with the team he joined in January.
The performance of Thomas also bodes well for his coming season as he struggled for fitness in 2020.
“A Grenadier for each step, but an incredible team effort from all our riders and staff to back them up,” a team statement said.
Australian Porte was bouncing back from a bad fall on Paris-Nice in early March, and the man who came third on the 2020 Tour de France appears primed for a big season too.
Unable to break the status quo over the final six circuits of the category two Montjuic climb Spain’s Valverde had to settle for fourth place, 1min 03sec behind.
Colombia’s bike exchange rider Esteban Chaves won both points and mountain jerseys while Deceunick Quick-Step tyro Joao Almeida of Portugal was best young rider
Belgian Thomas De Gendt, riding for the Lotto-Soudal team, claimed the seventh stage, coming home alone, 22 seconds clear of Matej Mohoric.
De Gendt was part of a breakaway at the foot of the category three Creu d’Ordal climb before going it alone with Slovenia’s Mohoric on the last lap of Montjuic.
In third on the day came Hungarian Attila Valter, the Groupama rider crossing the line 1min42s back.
Yates was going one better after his runner-up finish in the race in 2019 for his first victory since the UAE Tour in February of last year.
Results and final overall standings after stage seven of the Tour of Catalonia on Sunday, a 133km ride around Barcelona:
1. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/Lotto) 3hrs 06mins 10sec, 2. Matej Mohoric (SLO/BAH) at 22sec, 3. Attila Valter (HUN/FDJ) 1:42, 4. Sebastien Reichenbach (SUI/FDJ) 1:46, 5. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 1:46, 6. Michael Woods (CAN/ISR) 1:46, 7. Marc Hirschi (SUI/UAE) 1:46, 8. Joao Almeida (POR/DEC) 1:46, 9. Adam Yates (GBR/INE) 1:46, 10. Clement Champoussin (FRA/AG2) 1:46
Final overall standings
1. Adam Yates (GBR/Ineos) 26hrs 16mins 41sec, 2. Richie Porte (AUS/INE) at 45sec, 3. Geraint Thomas (GBR/INE) 49, 4. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 1:03, 5. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BOR) 1:03, 6. Esteban Chaves (COL/BIK) 1:04, 7. Joao Almeida (POR/DEC) 1:05, 8. Hugh Carthy (GBR/EF1) 1:20, 9. Simon Yates (GBR/BIK) 1:32, 10. Lucas Hamilton (AUS/BIK) 1:35.