/ Cycling

Dan Martin extends Volta a Catalunya lead

Updated: Friday, 22 Mar 2013 17:13 | Comments

Dan Martin now leads the Volta a Catalunya by 14 seconds
Dan Martin now leads the Volta a Catalunya by 14 seconds

By Tadhg Peavoy

Dan Martin of Garmin-Sharp has extended his lead in the Volta a Catalunya after the 157km stage five from Rialp to Lleida.

The Irishman finished ninth in a bunch sprint in Lleida, which was won by Francois Parisien of Argos-Shimano from Samuel Dumoulin of Ag2r-La Mondiale.

The result means that Martin has extended his general classification lead over Joaquim Rodriguez of Katusha from ten seconds to 14 seconds as Stephen Roche's nephew picked up a bonus for coming third at the intermediate sprint.

The extra four seconds Martin gained in today's stage could prove crucial as Martin seeks to win the tour's general classification, as now even with a stage-winning ten-second time bonus Rodriquez would still not overturn Martin's advantage.

The Spaniard must now also put distance between himself and the Irishman in one of the two remaining stages to seize control of the GC.

The tour moves back into mountain mode on Saturday as the peloton tackle the category one Alt de Prades and category two Alt de Lilla.

The tour finishes in Barcelona on Sunday.

If Martin does win the tour it will be his second WorldTour title; his first success came in winning the 2010 Tour of Poland.

Volta a Catalunya, Spain (WorldTour)

Stage 5: Rialp - Lleida:
1 Francois Parisien (Canada / Argos) 3:32:02
2 Samuel Dumoulin (France / AG2R) ST
3 Stephane Poulhies (France / Cofidis)
4 Daniele Ratto (Italy / Cannondale)
5 Danilo Wyss (Switzerland / BMC Racing)

Overall:
1 Daniel Martin (Ireland / Garmin) 22:20:40
2 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain / Katusha) +14 
3 Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar) +32 
4 Bradley Wiggins (Britain / Team Sky) +36 
5 Michele Scarponi (Italy / Lampre) +39

@TPeavoy

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