Ruta del Sol: Tim Wellens wins stage 1

Repeat win on the Citadel for Belgian

Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) has made a solid start towards winning a second Vuelta a Andalucia after the Belgian repeated his 2018 victory on the difficult hilltop finish of Alcala de los Gazules.

Wellens launched a powerful counterattack with 120 metres to go, just as a late acceleration by recent Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana winner Ion Izagirre (Astana) petered out on the ever-changing cobbled gradients of the finishing ascent.

Thanks to his powerful late acceleration, Wellens crossed the line with a useful five seconds advantage on Astana duo Jakob Fuglsang and Izagirre, whilst Mitchelton-Scott’s Jack Haig came home in fourth in the same time. The remainder of the peloton was shattered by a ferociously fast finale and the tough, kilometre-long, uphill finish in the town in western Andalucia, meaning Wellens has claimed an solid early lead overall.

“Of course I knew the final from last year and I was in a good position at its foot, but the team did very well, too, in the last kilometres” Wellens said after claiming the 25th win of his career.

“I started following wheels at the foot of the climb, but then went for it with 200 metres to go and nobody could come after me.”

The winner of the 2018 Vuelta a Andalucia as well as on the stage to Alcala de los Gazules last year, Wellens has already tasted victory this season, at the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, part of the Challenge Mallorca series. However, he went down with a viral infection afterwards, could not train for a week, and said in a team press release on Tuesday that Andalucia’s GC may not be such a big goal in 2019 as it was in 2018.

After such a stunning early performance, though, Wellens may now think again.

How it unfolded

Warm, dry weather greeted the 133-rider peloton as it set off from the coastal town of Sanlucar de Barrameda for a 170-kilometre stage, and it wasn’t long before seven riders attempted an early breakaway.

Michael Van Staeyen (Roompot-Charles), locally born rider Álvaro Cuadros (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Corentin Ermenault (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels), Alessandro Pessot (Bardiani-CSF), Sergio Samitier (Euskadi-Murias), Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) and Unai Cuadrado (Fundación Euskadi) moved ahead despite a fast average speed of 43kmh in the first hour.

Lotto-Soudal, Mitchelton-Scott and Astana kept the seven on a short leash of just over two minutes, and although Samitier attempted a last-ditch effort on the relentlessly rolling terrain, Mitchelton-Scott’s hard work, spearheaded by Esteban Chaves and then Simon Yates on his season debut, saw the last survivor reeled in with 22 kilometres to go.

Some ferociously abrupt accelerations by Bahrain-Merida ground down the peloton and almost caused the bunch to shatter completely at one point. But following a brief truce, Astana then opened up the throttle again as Alcala de los Gazules approached.

Movistar took over at the front with two kilometres to go, with Lotto-Soudal also keeping any late breakaways under control. However, as the road steepened on the final ascent into the village, it was Fuglsang - already a key player Astana’s multiple wins in Spain this season - who ripped the front apart, followed by Haig and with Wellens closely shadowing the two race leaders.

Izagirre tried to go clear at a point where the climb briefly eased before swinging up onto yet more cobbles. But when Wellens surged up on the right hand side of the road, Izagirre had nothing left and the Belgian quickly opened up a gap and soloed across the finish line for his second victory of 2019.

Stage two on Thursday is a lengthy 216 kilometre grind eastwards across the rolling hills of central Andalucia, and it could well end in a bunch sprint. Then Friday’s short hilly stage three time trial - not dis-similar to the one last year where Wellens sealed his victory in the Vuelta a Andalucia, represents the next big challenge for the overall contenders. But the real showdown will come in Saturday’s stage across Sierra Nevada mountains.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal4:24:12 
2Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team0:00:05 
3Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
4Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott  
5Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:00:09 
6Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
7Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane  
8Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
9Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma  
10Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert0:00:13 
11Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:00:14 
12Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) Equipo Euskadi0:00:16 
13Rafael Valls (Spa) Movistar Team  
14Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert0:00:19 
15Carlos Verona (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:21 
16Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:00:22 
17Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
18Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott  
19Eduard Prades (Spa) Movistar Team  
20Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:25 
21Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:31 
22Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
23Antonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spa) Equipo Euskadi  
24Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:33 
25Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
26Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
27Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
28Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
29Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida0:00:36 
30Colin Joyce (USA) Rally UHC Cycling0:00:37 
31José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team  
32Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:00:42 
33Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot-Charles  
34Mathias De Witte (Bel) Roompot-Charles0:00:44 
35Ivan Rovny (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo0:00:46 
36Ricardo Augusto Afonso Vilela (Por) Burgos-BH0:00:47 
37Lars Boom (Ned) Roompot-Charles0:00:49 
38Cyril Barthe (Fra) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:00:52 
39Ibai Azurmendi Sagastibeltza (Spa) Equipo Euskadi0:00:54 
40Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma0:00:55 
41Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:00:59 
42Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
43Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel  
44Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH  
45Joan Bou Company (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane  
46Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane  
47Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Gobert0:01:01 
48Aaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
49Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
50Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos-BH  
51Nikolai Cherkasov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
52Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:01:05 
53Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott  
54Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:01:15 
55Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team  
56Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:01:18 
57Nicola Bagioli (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane0:01:24 
58Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Movistar Team0:01:27 
59Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Roompot-Charles0:01:30 
60Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
61Daan Olivier (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:01:40 
62Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
63Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
64David Gonzalez Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:01:51 
65Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot-Charles0:01:59 
66Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:10 
67Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida  
68Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida  
69Sho Hatsuyama (Jpn) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane0:02:13 
70Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal  
71Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty-Gobert0:02:15 
72Xavier Cañellas Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:02:17 
73Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott0:02:20 
74Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:02:21 
75Umberto Orsini (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
76Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:02:28 
77Corentin Ermenault (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:02:34 
78Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo0:02:51 
79Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:02:53 
80Sean De Bie (Bel) Roompot-Charles0:02:56 
81Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott0:03:05 
82Nelson Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:03:10 
83Robin Carpenter (USA) Rally UHC Cycling0:03:13 
84Svein Tuft (Can) Rally UHC Cycling0:03:18 
85Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally UHC Cycling  
86Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott0:03:25 
87Steven Lammertink (Ned) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:03:27 
88Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:03:42 
89Luca Covili (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:04:56 
90Aleksei Rybalkin (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
91Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:06:22 
92Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:06:25 
93Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:06:30 
94Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:06:38 
95Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:06:41 
96Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:06:59 
97Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:07:14 
98Juan Antonio Lopez-Cozar Jaimez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:07:18 
99Txomin Juaristi Arrieta (Spa) Equipo Euskadi0:07:20 
100Moreno Moser (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane  
101Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:08:56 
102Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team0:09:26 
103Ludwig De Winter (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:09:36 
104Ryan Anderson (Can) Rally UHC Cycling  
105Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Roompot-Charles0:09:46 
106Thimo Willems (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
107Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty-Gobert  
108Alexandr Kulikovskiy (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo0:09:48 
109Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos-BH0:09:51 
110Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:10:10 
111Mattia Viel (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
112Unai Cuadrado Ruiz De Gauna (Spa) Equipo Euskadi  
113Dzmitry Zhyhunou (Blr) Equipo Euskadi0:10:12 
114Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Team Jumbo-Visma0:10:15 
115Daniel Lopez Parada (Spa) Burgos-BH  
116Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:10:22 
117Marc Fournier (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel  
118Emerson Oronte (USA) Rally UHC Cycling  
119Enzo Wouters (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:10:26 
120Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Equipo Euskadi  
121Petr Rikunov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo0:10:31 
122Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally UHC Cycling0:10:33 
123Bert De Backer (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:10:48 
124José Fernandes Neves (Por) Burgos-BH0:12:04 
125Alan Banaszek (Pol) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:12:45 
126Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:13:42 
127Alessandro Pessot (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:13:44 
128Alvaro Cuadros Morata (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:14:12 
129Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:14:31 
DNFDiego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos-BH  
General classification after stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal4:24:12 
2Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team0:00:05 
3Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
4Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott  
5Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:00:09 
6Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
7Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane  
8Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
9Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma  
10Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert0:00:13 
11Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:00:14 
12Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) Equipo Euskadi0:00:16 
13Rafael Valls (Spa) Movistar Team  
14Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert0:00:19 
15Carlos Verona (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:21 
16Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:00:22 
17Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
18Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott  
19Eduard Prades (Spa) Movistar Team  
20Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:25 
21Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:31 
22Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
23Antonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spa) Equipo Euskadi  
24Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:33 
25Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
26Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
27Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
28Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
29Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida0:00:36 
30Colin Joyce (USA) Rally UHC Cycling0:00:37 
31José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team  
32Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:00:42 
33Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot-Charles  
34Mathias De Witte (Bel) Roompot-Charles0:00:44 
35Ivan Rovny (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo0:00:46 
36Ricardo Augusto Afonso Vilela (Por) Burgos-BH0:00:47 
37Lars Boom (Ned) Roompot-Charles0:00:49 
38Cyril Barthe (Fra) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:00:52 
39Ibai Azurmendi Sagastibeltza (Spa) Equipo Euskadi0:00:54 
40Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma0:00:55 
41Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:00:59 
42Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
43Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel  
44Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH  
45Joan Bou Company (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane  
46Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane  
47Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Gobert0:01:01 
48Aaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
49Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
50Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos-BH  
51Nikolai Cherkasov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
52Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:01:05 
53Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott  
54Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:01:15 
55Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team  
56Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:01:18 
57Nicola Bagioli (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane0:01:24 
58Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Movistar Team0:01:27 
59Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Roompot-Charles0:01:30 
60Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
61Daan Olivier (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:01:40 
62Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
63Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
64David Gonzalez Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:01:51 
65Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot-Charles0:01:59 
66Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:10 
67Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida  
68Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida  
69Sho Hatsuyama (Jpn) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane0:02:13 
70Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal  
71Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty-Gobert0:02:15 
72Xavier Cañellas Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:02:17 
73Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott0:02:20 
74Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:02:21 
75Umberto Orsini (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
76Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:02:28 
77Corentin Ermenault (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:02:34 
78Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo0:02:51 
79Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:02:53 
80Sean De Bie (Bel) Roompot-Charles0:02:56 
81Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott0:03:05 
82Nelson Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:03:10 
83Robin Carpenter (USA) Rally UHC Cycling0:03:13 
84Svein Tuft (Can) Rally UHC Cycling0:03:18 
85Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally UHC Cycling  
86Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott0:03:25 
87Steven Lammertink (Ned) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:03:27 
88Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:03:42 
89Luca Covili (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:04:56 
90Aleksei Rybalkin (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
91Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:06:22 
92Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:06:25 
93Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:06:30 
94Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:06:38 
95Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:06:41 
96Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:06:59 
97Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:07:14 
98Juan Antonio Lopez-Cozar Jaimez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:07:18 
99Txomin Juaristi Arrieta (Spa) Equipo Euskadi0:07:20 
100Moreno Moser (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane  
101Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:08:56 
102Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team0:09:26 
103Ludwig De Winter (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:09:36 
104Ryan Anderson (Can) Rally UHC Cycling  
105Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Roompot-Charles0:09:46 
106Thimo Willems (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
107Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty-Gobert  
108Alexandr Kulikovskiy (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo0:09:48 
109Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos-BH0:09:51 
110Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:10:10 
111Mattia Viel (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
112Unai Cuadrado Ruiz De Gauna (Spa) Equipo Euskadi  
113Dzmitry Zhyhunou (Blr) Equipo Euskadi0:10:12 
114Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Team Jumbo-Visma0:10:15 
115Daniel Lopez Parada (Spa) Burgos-BH  
116Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:10:22 
117Marc Fournier (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel  
118Emerson Oronte (USA) Rally UHC Cycling  
119Enzo Wouters (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:10:26 
120Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Equipo Euskadi  
121Petr Rikunov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo0:10:31 
122Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally UHC Cycling0:10:33 
123Bert De Backer (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:10:48 
124José Fernandes Neves (Por) Burgos-BH0:12:04 
125Alan Banaszek (Pol) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:12:45 
126Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:13:42 
127Alessandro Pessot (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:13:44 
128Alvaro Cuadros Morata (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:14:12 
129Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:14:31 

 

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