Colin Joyce rounded out the 72nd edition of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in style on Sunday. At the end of an intense week of aggressive Spanish racing, the team worked well to get him in position before the scrappy sprint where he claimed a fantastic fifth place. Teammate Nate Brown finished 20th on GC, one place ahead of Joyce.
“It’s nice to have Robin Carpenter in those situations, he’s great at the late punch to get in position,” said Joyce. “Everyone on the team committed to the sprint and that always helps motivate me to try a bit harder.”
Stage 5 was the shortest of the week at just 91.2km from Paterna to the final destination of Valencia. A doomed breakaway got to enjoy the good weather, but they were unable to make any significant gains and were caught by the peloton with 10km to go.
Rally Cycling was integral to raising the pace at the front of the peloton in the closing kilometers, organizing themselves well to form a lead-out for Joyce. The American fast man got the job done in style, and in good company as he beat the likes of Caleb Ewan for his second top-five finish of the week.
“It’s nice to see the front of bike races again. We’ve had a few disappointing results this spring, but you just have to keep fighting and try to use it as motivation. Normally the race fitness comes back strong if you can roll with the punches and keep at it.”
Joyce has had a brilliant week at the pointy end of all the sprint stages, confirming he belongs on the world stage. The rest of the team have been indispensable with their hard work, both in breakaways and pulling on the front of the peloton to maximize Joyce’s chances of a result. Strong teamwork is a victory in itself.
“It helps to have a positive group of friends to take it all in with.”
The men’s team will have a short break in racing as they prepare for a busy month in Europe, including the Classica da Arrabida in Portugal on May 2nd, and three simultaneous stages race – 4 Jours de Dunkerque, Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta, and Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid.
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Stage 5 results
1 DÉMARE Arnaud Groupama – FDJ 1:56:25
2 ABERASTURI Jon Caja Rural – Seguros RGA ”
3 DUPONT Timothy Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB ”
4 CONSONNI Simone Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ”
5 JOYCE Colin Rally Cycling ”
6 EWAN Caleb Lotto Soudal ”
7 MOLENAAR Alex Burgos-BH ”
8 WELTEN Bram Team Arkéa Samsic ”
9 THIJSSEN Gerben Lotto Soudal ”
10 DI FELICE Francesco Mg.k Vis VPM ”
Final overall standings
1 KÜNG Stefan Groupama – FDJ 14:49:50
2 OLIVEIRA Nelson Movistar Team 0:06
3 MAS Enric Movistar Team 0:36
4 LAFAY Victor Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 0:45
5 GESBERT Élie Team Arkéa Samsic 1:01
6 MATÉ Luis Ángel Euskaltel – Euskadi 1:37
7 ROCHAS Rémy Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 2:03
8 SCOTSON Miles Groupama – FDJ 2:26
9 LOUVEL Matis Team Arkéa Samsic 2:43
10 LOPEZ Diego Equipo Kern Pharma 2:47
20 BROWN Nathan Rally Cycling 4:41
21 JOYCE Colin Rally Cycling 4:52