Volta a Catalunya, stage 3.

Janez Brajkovic (Astana) won the shortened stage 3 Volta a Catalunya a top the hors catégorie Port-Ainé.  Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Mickael Cherel (AG2R-La Mondiale) finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

With less than ideal weather dampening the stage, race officials rerouted the 210km stage to make it 155km.  10km into the stage, a crash took out a number of riders including Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), Julian Dean (Garmin-Barracuda) and Frantisek Rabon (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) – Basso was able to continue, but Dean and Rabon were taken to the hospital.  17km in, the day’s first categorized climb came – Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank) and Johan Tschopp (BMC Racing Team) took off on the category 1 Alt de Coubet.  Janez Brajkovic (Astana) bridged up to the leading duo.  Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Barracuda), Petr Ignatenko and Timofey Kritskiy (Katusha), Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank), Romain Bardet and Mickael Cherel (AG2R La Mondiale), Thomas Rohregger (RadioShack-Nissan) and Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil-DCM) eventually caught up to the trio and the 12 riders pulled 11 minutes over the main peloton.  The group was able to stay away until the finish, but due to the weather, race officials decided not to count the finishing times towards the GC.  34 riders abandoned during the rain swept race.  Michael Albasini (GreenEdge) still holds the lead in the GC with Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) and Cherel in 2nd and 3rd.

Photos from SteepHill.

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