Poels grasps opportunity to break three-year win drought at Ruta del Sol

BAZA SPAIN FEBRUARY 19 Wouter Poels of Netherlands and Team Bahrain Victorious celebrates winning during the 68th Vuelta A Andalucia Ruta Del Sol 2022 Stage 4 a 167km stage from Cllar Vega to Baza 836m 68RdS on February 19 2022 in Baza Spain Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images
Poels celebrates the stage win on day four of the Vuelta a Andalucia (Image credit: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

When Wout Poels was asked if he had talked to fellow Ruta del Sol stage 4 breakaway rider Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) about reaching a unofficial agreement so that the Kazakhstani would get the stage win and Poels the lead, his answer came back as a categorical 'No'. This time, it turned out, Poels wanted it all.

After the race blew apart on stage 4 hilly start, the Bahrain Victorious rider and Lutsenko sheared away from the leading breakaway of 15 riders, and the duo quickly opening up enough of a gap to be all but sure of duelling for the stage win.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.