Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol 2017

February 15-19, 2017, Rincón de la Victoria, Andalucia, Road - 2.HC

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
susan westemeyer

The closing stage of the Ruta del Sol starts uphill and will remain quite bumpy to the end. The burning question is whether there will be enough action to bring about a change at the top of the GC

  1. 13:28:34 CET

    Welcome back to our live coverage of the Ruta del Sol. We will see who our final overall winner is after all the climbs and bumps along the way.

  2. 13:30:14 CET

    The race started out uphill, and after only 4 km we had a break group of eight: Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Marco Minnaard (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Garikoitz Bravo (Euskadi), Maciej Paterski (CCC), Victor Campenaerts (LottoNL-Jumbo), Nick Van Der Lijke (Roompot), Simon Clarke (Cannondale) and Domen Novak (Bahrain Merida). After 17 km they have a gap of 4:05.

  3. 13:36:00 CET

    Things could be quite dramatic today, as Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is only one second ahead of Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) in GC. The question is whether Contador will attack the leader and try for the win, or will he let it be?


  4. 13:40:03 CET

    The weather forecast today is not so good: heavy showers and only occasionally sunny.


  5. 13:46:21 CET

    Our top five going into today’s closing stage: 1

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 13:12.07

    2 Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) +0.01

    3 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +0.06

    4 Wout Poels (Sky) +0.21

    5 Diego Rosa (Sky) +0.45

  6. 124.5km remaining from 151.5km

    13:47:52 CET

    After 27 km the gap has gone up to 4:35.


  7. 13:50:50 CET

    We had one DNS today, Anton Vorobyev of Gazprom-Rusvelo.
  8. 13:56:19 CET

    In case you forgot, yesterday's stage saw Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) take the sprint win after an escape group was caught only in the last five km.

  9. 14:02:19 CET

    Seems like we were just starting out the season Down Under, and now we are almost overwhelmed with races. (Not that we are complaining!) We already dusted off one race this morning, as Alexander Kristoff took his third stage at the Tour of Oman and Ben Hermans claimed the overall victory. 


  10. 14:09:11 CET

    Not only do we have rain and wet roads in the mountains we have some heavy wind gusts, too. This is really not a good combination! Let's be careful out there.


  11. 14:17:07 CET

    Movistar at the head of the peloton, of course. 


  12. 14:22:31 CET

    What would pro cycling be without a controversy? This weekend's controversy comes out of Portugal at the Tour of Algarve, where some riders question the actions of motos and whether some riders are getting assistance from them. 


  13. 14:33:52 CET

    The day’s first ranked climb of the day, the cat. 3 Puerto del Viento, went to Bravo ahead of Paterski and Clarke.

  14. 14:39:26 CET

    Coming into today’s stage, Valverde is atop the points ranking, ahead of Pinot and Contador.

  15. 14:49:43 CET

    For the mountain ranking, Georg Preidler (Sunweb) leads over Daniel Turek (Israel Cycling Academy) and Valverde.

  16. 14:56:11 CET

    The second ranked climb of the day was the cat. 3 Puerto de las Abejas. This time Paterski took the points ahed of Minnaard and Novak.

  17. 15:02:09 CET

    Tom Boonen isn't counting down the days until the final race of his career. He doesn't need to since nearly everyone else is doing it for him. 


  18. 15:12:35 CET

    Here is a weather update from our man at the race, Alasdair Fotheringham:

    Very blustery winds at finish, heavy showers continue. Finishing km is pretty wide roads, fast, straight downhill as far as a roundabout, then a tiny kick up and slight left-hand curve in the last 300 metres.

    Big floods in the Malaga area overnight, very close to where the race finishes, with chunks of road washed away in the city and some buildings collapsed, after very heavy rainfall during the night. But it seems that the race itself won’t be affected.

  19. 79.5km remaining from 151.5km

    15:18:19 CET

    After 72 km the gap has jumped to 6:15.


  20. 47km remaining from 151.5km

    15:38:52 CET

    47 km to go, a gap of 4:54, and rain at the head of the race. The peloton looks dry at the moment.


  21. 15:43:11 CET

    Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) has decided to give the Giro d'Italia a skip this year and head to the Tour de France instead. 


  22. 15:45:48 CET

    40 km and four and a half minutes gap. The peloton has decided it is time to start thinking of moving up a bit closer. 


  23. 15:55:34 CET

    The Ruta del Sol translates as "the route to the sun". Somehow that just doesn't cut it today.


  24. 16:03:50 CET

    It is dry at the moment, which is good news. 30km and 4:02.


  25. 16:06:52 CET

    A variety of teams at the head of the peloton, and the speed is not particularly high. Are they really not interested in catching the escape group?


  26. 16:08:26 CET

    Raindrops visible again at the head of the course.


  27. 16:11:21 CET

    Fabio Aru finished third overall in Oman and was happy to have the race as training. He has his eye on the Giro this year. 


  28. 16:19:20 CET

    21km and .... no time being reported


  29. 16:20:27 CET

    There we go. 20.7 km and 2:43.


  30. 16:21:26 CET

    Campanaerts tries to get away from the group, but they won't let him go.


  31. 16:23:36 CET

    Lots of umbrellas amongst the crowd waiting at the finish line.


  32. 16:26:28 CET

    Simon Clarke just picked up a very sticky bottle from the team car. Although it was more like a very sticky pair of glasses, in this case. 


  33. 16:28:36 CET

    Preidler is confirmed as overall King of the Mountains for this race. 


  34. 16:29:08 CET

    Campanaerts tries it again and again his attempt is foiled.


  35. 16:29:59 CET

    14.7 km and we understand still 2:30. Sounds good for the break group.


  36. 16:32:47 CET

    It does not appear to be raining at the moment, but the street is wet.


  37. 16:33:34 CET

    Virtually the entire Trek-Segafredo team has gathered at the front of the peloton. Is Contador planning an attack to take the overall title here?


  38. 16:35:39 CET

    The weather is making information hard to come by. We now hear that three riders have been dropped from the lead group.


  39. 16:40:29 CET

    Surely the sprinters' teams are interested in being in at the finish today. But t is also possible that cooler heads in the peloton have said 'let's not take any chances on these wet roads.'


  40. 16:41:02 CET

    We now see six in the led group, as Campanaerts tries again to get away.


  41. 16:42:10 CET

    And it is raining again.


  42. 16:42:51 CET

    4 km and 1:13. The break group has it!


  43. 16:44:11 CET

    Campanaerts and Wellens have done much of the lead work in the break group lately. Needless to say, the group is not working together very well any more.


  44. 16:45:19 CET

    Campanaerts goes again, with roughly 2.5km left.


  45. 16:45:36 CET

    And again he is pulled back.


  46. 16:46:57 CET

    Campanaert hangs at the back of the field, as two riders take off up front - to no avail.


  47. 16:47:17 CET

    Last km!


  48. 16:48:29 CET

    Wellens opens the sprint and is ble to hold on to the finish line!


  49. 16:48:55 CET

    Looks like Clarke second and Paterski third.


  50. 16:49:23 CET

    The peloton is now taking its time coming up to the finish line.


  51. 16:51:55 CET

    They come over about 1:30 later. No problems for Valverde to claim the title.


  52. 16:52:48 CET

    Valverde crossed the line as 15th, 1:45 down, in the field. Contador didn't contest it, and finished in the same time, about 10 places later.


  53. 16:55:44 CET

    That gives Valverde his fifth overall title in this race. 


  54. 16:56:42 CET

    On the stage, it was Campanaerts second, and Paterski a close fourth.


  55. 16:59:01 CET

    Top ten of the stage: 

    1 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 3:58:31

    2 Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac

    3 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo

    4 Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice

    5 Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-Merida

    6 Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij

    7 Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:01:34

    8 Hector Saez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:01:45

    9 Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 

    10 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits

  56. 17:00:25 CET

    Final general classification

    1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 17:12:23

    2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:01

    3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:06

    4 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:21

    5 Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky 0:00:45

    6 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:48

    7 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ 0:00:52

    8 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:29

    9 Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:48

    10 Javier Moreno (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:50

  57. 17:22:27 CET

    That was the 2017 Ruta del Sol! Thanks for reading along and join us for more exciting action in the coming days!


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