Russia’s Sergei Chernetski claimed victory on the sixth stage of the Tour of Catalonia on Saturday as Australian Richie Porte maintained his overall lead.
Chernetski edged out Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe and Polish rider Maciej Paterski in a time of 4hr 42min 47sec on the 194.1km ride from Cervera to Port Aventura.
Porte finished among the chasing pack along with the other general classification contenders nearly two minutes back to remain five seconds ahead of Italian Domenico Pozzovivo.
Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador remains third, a further two seconds adrift, despite crashing three kilometres from the finish line.
The Spaniard got up to finish the stage, but his Tinkoff Saxo team confirmed he had suffered superficial injuries to the left side of his body.
An early breakaway group of 21 riders enjoyed a lead of between two and three minutes for the majority of the day before a lead group of 13 broke away with just under 20 kilometres to go.
A number of failed attempts to burst for the line ensued before Chernetski sneaked past Alaphilippe to secure his first World Tour victory.
“Today was my day. I am very happy and just want to thank my team,” said Chernetski.
Sunday’s final stage is a hilly 126.6km circuit around Barcelona which features eight laps of the Alt de Montjuic in the final stages.
Results from the 194.1km sixth stage of the Tour of Catalonia from Cervera to Port Aventura on Saturday:
1. Sergei Chernetski (RUS/KAT) 4hr 42min 47sec, 2. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/EQS) at same time, 3. Maciej Paterski (POL/CCC) s.t., 4. Marc Soler (ESP/MOV) s.t., 5. Jonathan Hivert (FRA/BSE) s.t., 6. Tejay van Garderen (USA/BMC) s.t., 7. Georg Preidler (AUS/TGA) s.t., 8. Rudy Molard (FRA/COF) s.t., 9. Thomas Danielson (USA/TCG) 0:03, 10. Carlos Verona (ESP/EQS) s.t.
1. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) 27hr 42min 57sec, 2. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) at 0:05sec, 3. Alberto Contador (ESP/TCS) 0:07, 4. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0:16, 5. Rigoberto Uran (COL/EQS) 0:18, 6. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 0:27, 7. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (COL/BMC) 0:33, 8. Rafael Valls (ESP/LAM) 0:43, 9. Wilco Kelderman (NED/TLJ) 1:09, 10. Daniel Martin (IRL/TCG) 1:35
– Agence France-Presse