The sixth stage of the Tour of Catalonia was not only something for the escapees on paper. In practice, too, the fast-moving rouleurs had written the 172-kilometer stage from El Vendrell to Vilanova i la Geltru on their daily schedule.
A group of nine broke away from the field early on, in which the favorites around overall leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) saved their strength for the difficult tour finale on Sunday tomorrow. In addition to Jens Voigt (Trek) from Berlin, Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and Stef Clement (Belkin) also made it into the top group.
The group was able to gain a maximum lead of four minutes. This only began to decline when the Lampre-Merida and Lotto Belisol teams took the lead in the field. But too late, as it turned out later. With a lead of more than a minute and a half, the leaders began their tactical games ten kilometers before the finish line.
First it was Voigt who was able to break away from the group. However, some drivers managed to get hold of the Berliner's rear wheel again. After that, Clement took his chance. And he used it too. At the finish, he was three seconds ahead of his closest pursuers. Frenchman Rudy Molard (Cofidis) secured second place ahead of Belgian Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). Voigt was only the thankless fourth place.
There were no changes in the overall rating.
1. Stef Clement (Belkin) 3:58:44
2. Rudy Molard (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) 0:00:03
3. Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 0:00:03
4. Jens Voigt (Trek) 0:00:03
5. Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Polsat Polkowice) 0:00:03
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) 27:03:13
2. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) 0:00:04
3.Tejay van Garderen (BMC) 0:00:07
4. Romain Bardet (Ag2R La Mondiale) 0:00:10
5. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 0:00:10