Ruta del Sol: Wellens wins rainy final stage

Breakaway sticks in Coín

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) claimed victory on the final stage of the Ruta del Sol as the breakaway made it all the way to the line in Coín. The Belgian out-foxed his companions in a tricky, tactical finale, beating Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac) in the sprint. Victor Campenaerts (LottoNl-Jumbo) was third.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) kept a watchful eye on Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) to seal his fifth overall victory in six editions.

For Wellens, it was a redemption of sorts after his bold solo effort on stage 2 was hampered by a crash as he tried to upset the climbers.

The Belgian produced a powerful sprint and won clearly from the group of six, after marking the moves in a tactical final 10km.

With little urgency in the peloton, it was certain the breakaway would contest the win. The closing stages saw collaboration in the lead group fly out of the window, replaced by a spate of small attacks and the subsequent soft-pedalling ‘cat-and-mouse’.

It was Wellens who shut down an attack from Nick Van Der Lijke in the final 1500 metres, and he took the Roompot rider’s wheel going through the final bend before unleashing his sprint. Clarke couldn’t get on terms, while Campenaerts, who had been the keenest to break free from his companions, pipped Paterski for the final podium spot.

The peloton came across the line 1:45 later, and while some were sprinting for minor placings, Alberto Contador was not one of them.

Starting the day just one second behind Valverde on GC, there was room for final-day drama but with a bunch finish – especially against a rider as zippy as Valverde – he knew he’d have to settle for second place. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) rounded out the final podium, six seconds down on Valverde. 

How it unfolded

It was a wet and windy day in southern Spain, with heavy overnight rainfall having caused flooding in the Malaga region.

The miserable conditions, coupled with the relative paucity of top-level sprinters in the race, played into the breakaway’s hands, and an eight-man move formed after just four kilometres.

In it was: 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).

They quickly built up a decent lead, with over four minutes after just 20km.

There were a couple of third-category climbs in the first half of the parcours, with Bravo taking the points on the first and Paterski the second. Georg Preidler (Team Sunweb) cemented the king of the mountains classification thanks to his earlier efforts.

With the second half of the parcours largely flat or downhill, the break stretched their lead out to over six minutes, and visions of a stage win were coming increasingly into focus.

There was no real urgency in the bunch, with very few top-level sprinters at the race, and the breakaway entered the final 30km with an advantage of four minutes. With 15km to go, they still had 2:30, despite some of the members shaking things up with a few digs.

Campenaerts, the winner of the stage 3 time trial, looked particularly keen, and it was he who started to attack again in the final several kilometres, sparking a game of cat and mouse. All the while, the peloton was advancing and going into final kilometres, their buffer was down to around 1:30.

With 2km remaining, Campenaerts made his biggest attack, but it was well marked by Clarke, and a long period of soft-pedalling ensued. The Belgian looked thoroughly disinterested in shutting moves down, and perhaps Clarke paid for his efforts when it was left to him to pull back Van Der Lijke and Wellens.

Wellens played it perfectly in the sprint, capitalising on Van Der Lijke’s early effort and coming through to punch the air in celebration, his opportunism landing him a third victory of the campaign.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal3:58:31 
2Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac  
3Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
4Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
5Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-Merida  
6Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
7Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:01:34 
8Hector Saez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:01:45 
9Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida  
10Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
11Eduard Prades (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
12Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJ  
13Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
14Javier Moreno (Spa) Bahrain-Merida  
15Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team  
16Daniel Lopez (Spa) Burgos BH  
17Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
18Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky  
19Maxime Farazijn (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
20Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb  
21Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky  
22José Manuel Díaz (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy  
23Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Team Sunweb  
24Stef Clement (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
25Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo  
26Adrian Gonzalez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
27Michal Schlegel (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
28Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
29Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky  
30Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky  
31Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team  
32Felix Großschartner (Aut) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
33Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-Segafredo  
34Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team  
35Floris De Tier (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
36André Cardoso (Por) Trek-Segafredo  
37Antonio Molina (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
38Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky  
39Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb  
40Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJ  
41Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ  
42Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-Drapac  
43Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida  
44Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac  
45Stijn Devolder (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
46Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ  
47Andrei Solomennikov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
48Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
49Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
50Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
51Ibai Salas (Spa) Burgos BH  
52Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
53Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo  
54Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
55Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
56Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
57Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
58Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
59Jesus Hernandez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo  
60Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida  
61Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ  
62Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
63Alexander Aranburu (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
64Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
65Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
66Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal  
67Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal  
68Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
69Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy  
70Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb  
71Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Drapac  
72Dmitriy Kozontchuk (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
73Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
74David Belda (Spa) Burgos BH  
75Hugh Carthy (GBr) Cannondale-Drapac  
76Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb  
77Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
78Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie  
79Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb  
80Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Sunweb  
81David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky  
82Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team  
83Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie  
84Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie  
85Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
86Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
87Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
88Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky0:02:35 
89Rory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team0:03:42 
90Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:06:02 
91Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
92Pello Olaberria (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
93Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy  
94Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy  
95Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
96Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ  
97Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
98Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
99Huub Duijn (Ned) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
100Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
101Jorge Arcas Peña (Spa) Movistar Team  
102Jon Irisarri (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
103Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo  
104William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ  
105Igor Merino (Spa) Burgos BH  
106Gotzon Udondo (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
107Julien Morice (Fra) Direct Energie  
108Leszek Plucinski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
109Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team  
110Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
111Aydar Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
112Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie  
113Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:06:11 
114Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie  
115Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-Drapac  
116Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
117Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy0:10:38 
118Ruben Pols (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
119Alvaro Robredo (Spa) Burgos BH  
120Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
121Mihkel Räim (Est) Israel Cycling Academy  
122Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
123Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
124Jens Wallays (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
Final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team17:12:23 
2Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:00:01 
3Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ0:00:06 
4Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:00:21 
5Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky0:00:45 
6Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky0:00:48 
7Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ0:00:52 
8Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac0:01:29 
9Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida0:01:48 
10Javier Moreno (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:01:50 
11Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:01:57 
12Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb0:02:04 
13Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky0:02:27 
14Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:46 
15Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:03:47 
16Floris De Tier (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:03:53 
17Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:04:13 
18Stef Clement (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:04:29 
19Eduard Prades (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:04:48 
20Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:04:52 
21Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb0:04:59 
22Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Team Sunweb  
23Michal Schlegel (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:05:12 
24Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
25Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:05:25 
26André Cardoso (Por) Trek-Segafredo0:05:29 
27David Belda (Spa) Burgos BH0:05:36 
28Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:06:13 
29Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:08:04 
30Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:08:19 
31Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:08:33 
32Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:08:53 
33Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:08:56 
34Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team0:09:42 
35Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:09:56 
36Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:09:57 
37Hector Saez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:10:09 
38Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:10:14 
39Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:10:38 
40Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team0:11:26 
41Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:11:39 
42Hugh Carthy (GBr) Cannondale-Drapac0:12:00 
43Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:12:29 
44Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ0:13:00 
45Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:13:32 
46Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal0:13:46 
47Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJ0:13:57 
48David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky0:14:34 
49Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:14:38 
50Alexander Aranburu (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:16:02 
51Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy0:16:55 
52Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:16:59 
53Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb0:17:26 
54Stijn Devolder (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan0:18:06 
55Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb0:18:29 
56Igor Merino (Spa) Burgos BH0:19:26 
57Leszek Plucinski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:19:27 
58Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac0:19:36 
59Jesus Hernandez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:19:49 
60Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:20:20 
61Huub Duijn (Ned) Veranda's Willems Crelan0:20:25 
62Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:20:35 
63Antonio Molina (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:21:15 
64Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Drapac0:21:44 
65Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Sunweb0:21:45 
66Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-Drapac0:21:53 
67Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:22:04 
68Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky0:22:13 
69Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:22:14 
70Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie0:22:43 
71Jon Irisarri (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:22:52 
72Ibai Salas (Spa) Burgos BH0:23:11 
73Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:25:13 
74Maxime Farazijn (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:25:19 
75Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:25:40 
76Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:25:41 
77Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJ0:26:27 
78Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-Drapac0:26:30 
79Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy0:26:38 
80Andrei Solomennikov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:26:46 
81Dmitriy Kozontchuk (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:26:58 
82Rory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team0:27:56 
83Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky0:28:00 
84Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal0:28:07 
85Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:28:50 
86Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:28:54 
87Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:29:05 
88José Manuel Díaz (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy0:29:08 
89Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:29:39 
90Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:30:49 
91Felix Großschartner (Aut) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:30:53 
92Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie0:30:57 
93Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:30:59 
94William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ0:31:40 
95Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:32:00 
96Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy0:32:34 
97Aydar Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:33:00 
98Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:33:22 
99Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida0:34:00 
100Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:35:00 
101Julien Morice (Fra) Direct Energie0:35:02 
102Adrian Gonzalez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:35:07 
103Daniel Lopez (Spa) Burgos BH0:35:48 
104Mihkel Räim (Est) Israel Cycling Academy0:35:52 
105Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:36:02 
106Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:37:17 
107Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:37:22 
108Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ0:37:26 
109Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team0:37:53 
110Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:38:46 
111Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie0:38:49 
112Jorge Arcas Peña (Spa) Movistar Team0:38:53 
113Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:39:28 
114Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy0:39:36 
115Jens Wallays (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:39:42 
116Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:39:51 
117Pello Olaberria (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:42:24 
118Ruben Pols (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:42:29 
119Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo0:44:02 
120Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:44:24 
121Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:45:30 
122Gotzon Udondo (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:45:55 
123Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:46:21 
124Alvaro Robredo (Spa) Burgos BH0:47:46 

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