Lopez holds off Yates brothers to win Tour of Catalonia

Miguel Angel Lopez (AFP)
Miguel Angel Lopez (AFP)

Barcelona - Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez of the Astana team withstood a late attack by British brothers Adam and Simon Yates to claim victory in the Tour of Catalonia on Sunday.

Lopez seized control of the Tour on Thursday's summit-finish and the 25-year-old added to the Tour of Colombia he won in impressive fashion in February.

"I'm tired but very happy," the climb specialist said in an Instagram post alongside a photo of him smiling broadly on the team bus.

The day's racing was marred by a heavy crash of around 20 riders on an 70km/h downhill section. The great French hope Romain Bardet, who appeared to break a collarbone, Simon Geschke and Gari Bravo were all taken to hospital for treatment. Marc Soler also pulled out of the race.

"It was a violent fall because we were going downhill fast," explained Bardet.

"I'm suffering with my ribs but it could have been much worse," said the 28-year-old Frenchman whose -Tony Gallopin also went over his handlebars.

"We had quite a fright," said team boss Stephane Goubert, who watched his two top riders take a battering.

The seventh and final stage, a hilly 143km ride that started and ended in Barcelona, culminating in seven laps of the coastal city and its steep climb to Montjuic.

Lopez started the day with a slender 14sec lead over Mitchelton-Scott rider Adam Yates, who, accompanied by his brother Simon, the Vuelta a Espana winner, attempted a late attack but could not break Lopez.

Eventually, a reduced group of 13 contenders all finished about 55sec behind the solo winner Bora-Hansgrohe rider Davide Formolo of Italy.

Yates' runner-up spot follows on the heels of his gut-wrenching second place, by a single second to Primo Roglic, at the Tirreno Adriatico two weeks ago.

After Chris Froome fell early in the Tour, Sky made the 22-year-old Colombian Egan Bernal team leader and the all-rounder finished third.

Top Colombian climber Nairo Quintana of Movistar finished fourth. Defending champion Alejandro Valverde ended 10th.

Tour of Catalonia results:

Stage  7

1. Davide Formolo (ITA/BOR) 3hr 19min 41sec, 2. Enric Mas (ESP/DEC) at 51sec, 3. Maximilian Schachmann (GER/BOR) 53, 4. Dion Smith (NZL/MIT) 55, 5. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 55, 6. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) 55, 7. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) 55, 8. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 55, 9. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/JUM) 55, 10. Michael Woods (CAN/EF1) 55

Overall standings

1. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/Astana) 29hr 14min 17sec, 2. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) at 14sec, 3. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) 17, 4. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 25, 5. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/JUM) 56, 6. Michael Woods (CAN/EF1) 1:42, 7. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 2:27, 8. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) 2:41, 9. Enric Mas (ESP/DEC) 2:49, 10. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 3:02

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