The third stage of the Tour of Catalunya, marked by Anthony Delaplace’s presence in the breakaway, offered an uphill finish at over 2,000 metres of altitude. With 4,400 metres of altitude gain, it was a moment of truth in the race. Distanced in the final climb, Warren Barguil could see what the difference was between him and those who finished Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico but for him the essential was elsewhere: be on the bike and get back into the rhythm.
Warren Barguil : « I was not in a good day, I felt it from the star. I expected that, I knew coming here that it would be hard. Yesterday, even without being in good condition, I got a nice result, it was good for my morale. I’m staying positive tonight. My body has not yet fully recovered from the crash, my ribs are still hurting but the essential is that I’m on the bike. If I can finish the week it will be good. At this level when you stay off the bike for several days you fall behind. It’s disappointing because it’s usually a race that suits me, it’s hard not to play a big role. But I have to go through this process, I could have stayed at home and train but I preferred racing, get into the rhythm, and when it’s over I will be much better.
Anthony Delaplace : « We were 11 in the breakaway, it was interesting. I was not in a great day. In the first stage I worked a lot and I think I had not fully recuperated. On a World Tour race, if I want to follow the best until the finish I have to be in a good day. I got dropped in the penultimate climb. I’m a bit disappointed, I would have liked to stay up there until the last ascent. But I always enjoy being in front so I have no regrets.”
Yvon Ledanois : « Warren Barguil got dropped by the big guns in the last climb. But we need to be realistics, a week ago we were fearing bad news and were in emotional shock. We knew he did not come to the Tour of Catalunya to go for GC because his layoff made him lose preparation time against those who finished Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico. He boosted his confidence a little bit yesterday but he’s not at a level where he can play with the best yet. You have to look ahead, maybe tomorrow’s mountain stage or the one the day after but Warren must try to finish the race on a good not. It will be good to finish a stage race ahead of Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The main word is work and make a lot of efforts to make up for lost time.”