Poels hails 'special' support from Haig, Landa, Caruso in Ruta del Sol victory

CHICLANA DE SEGURA SPAIN FEBRUARY 20 Wouter Poels of Netherlands and Team Bahrain Victorious celebrates winning the yellow leader jersey on the podium ceremony after the 68th Vuelta A Andalucia Ruta Del Sol 2022 Stage 5 a 1644km stage from Huesa to Chiclana De Segura 870m 68RdS on February 20 2022 in Chiclana De Segura Spain Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images
Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) celebrates his overall victory on the final podium of the Ruta del Sol (Image credit: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

A tumultuous final kilometre on the toughest – closing – stage of the Ruta del Sol saw overall leader Wout Poels fending off multiple attacks to claim his first stage race victory since 2016. 

As the road curled its way remorselessly upwards towards the summit finish on the hilltop village of Chiclana de Segura, Poels personally had to chase down surging attacks first from last year's winner Miguel Angel López (Astana Qazaqstan) and then from Simon Yates (Bike Exchange-Jayco).

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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.