DANIEL MARTIN TIGHTENED his grip on the race leader’s jersey with another fine performance on stage five of the Volta a Catalunya.
After breaking away for an excellent solo win yesterday, Martin (Garmin-Sharp) had to be content to fight out a bunch sprint on today’s ride to Lleida.
Stage victory went to Francois Parisien (Argos-Shimano) ahead of Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Stéphane Poulhies (Cofidis) with Martin coming home in ninth.
Crucially he gained four seconds on his nearest rival, Spain’s Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha), as the bid for overall honours heats up.
Martin, who has finished second twice in Catalunya in the past, now leads Rodriguez by 14 seconds in the general classification. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is a further 18 seconds back ahead of tomorrow’s penultimate stage and Sunday’s finale into Barcelona.