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Valverde wins Ruta del Sol prologue

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) scorched to victory in the prologue of the Ruta del Sol, beating Simon Spilak (Katusha) into second place on the 6km course in San Fernando, while Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) came home in third.

Valverde won the race overall last year shortly after returning from suspension for his links to blood doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, and he got his defence off to the perfect start on the straightforward, out-and-back course, finishing two seconds ahead of Spilak and four ahead of Farrar.

"To be honest, I'm the first one who is surprised about this result," said Valverde. "My condition was good, but I made the course 20 seconds faster than last year, and that's a huge improvement. I knew the course and only watched it by car today; I didn't do a bike recce, but I found good legs right from the start.

"This victory is important for my confidence, especially because it's a time trial. That means the work we're doing on the TT bike is paying off already. There's still huge room to improve, but we're on the right track."

The early pace-setter was Maxim Belkov (Katusha) and Jack Bobridge (Blanco) was among the riders unable to better his time of 6:56. Bobridge’s Blanco teammate Robert Gesink also failed to make an impact (he lost 43 seconds), and Belkov’s time stood unchallenged until first Farrar and then Spilak took the start and passed him on the leaderboard.

Of the later starters, Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) was a notable performer, clocking a fine time of 6:50, which would be enough for 4th place come the end of the stage.

Ultimately, however, it was Valverde, the last man off, who had the final say. The Spaniard gauged his effort well and stopped the clock in 6:46, enough to put him two seconds clear of Spilak and take the first red jersey of the race.

The Ruta del Sol continues on Monday with a 164km stage from San Fernando to Ubrique.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:06:46
2Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha0:00:02
3Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Sharp0:00:04
4Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol
5Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos - Shimano0:00:06
6Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling0:00:09
7Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:10
8Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha
9Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil - DCM
10Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling0:00:11
11Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp - Endura
12Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
13Jon Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:12
14Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
15Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana
16Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha0:00:13
17José Iván Gutiérrez (Spa) Movistar Team
18Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha
19Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Sojasun
20Jack Bobridge (Aus) Blanco Pro Cycling0:00:14
21Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
22Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Sharp0:00:15
23Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos - Shimano0:00:16
24Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos - Shimano0:00:17
25Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin - Sharp
26José Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:18
27Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team
28Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil - DCM
29Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana
30Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil - DCM0:00:19
31Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin - Sharp
32Yves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
33Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Argos - Shimano
34Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol
35Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
36Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
37Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha0:00:20
38Jacek Morajko (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:00:21
39Iker Camaño (Spa) Team NetApp - Endura
40Maurits Lammereink (Ned) Vacansoleil - DCM0:00:22
41Luis Mas (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon
42Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
43Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Lotto Belisol
44Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:00:23
45Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling
46Antonio Piedra (Spa) Caja Rural
47Clement Lhotellerie (Fra) Colba Superano Ham
48Cyril Bessy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:24
49Karol Domagalski (Pol) Caja Rural
50Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun0:00:25
51Xavier Florencio (Spa) Katusha
52Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil - DCM
53Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Sharp
54Rafael Valls (Spa) Vacansoleil - DCM0:00:26
55Yelko Gomez (Pan) Caja Rural
56Enzo Moyano (Arg) Caja Rural
57Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
58Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol
59Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:27
60Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Sojasun
61Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
62Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin - Sharp
63Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice
64Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp - Endura
65Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:00:28
66Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
67Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp - Endura
68David De La Cruz (Spa) Team NetApp - Endura
69Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:29
70Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
71Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana
72Juan J Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
73Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:00:30
74Sander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
75Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Sojasun
76Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:31
77Thomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
78Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Argos - Shimano
79Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil - DCM
80Rubén Plaza (Spa) Movistar Team
81Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Sojasun0:00:32
82Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp - Endura
83David Tanner (Aus) Blanco Pro Cycling
84Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
85Mark Renshaw (Aus) Blanco Pro Cycling0:00:33
86Mikel Landa (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:34
87Will Routley (Can) Accent Jobs-Wanty
88Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun
89Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Sharp0:00:35
90Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:36
91Moisés Dueñas (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon
92Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:37
93Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
94Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Argos - Shimano
95Marcos García (Spa) Caja Rural0:00:38
96Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
97Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha0:00:39
98Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp - Endura
99Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
100Maxime Mederel (Fra) Sojasun0:00:41
101Jurgen Francois (Bel) Colba Superano Ham
102Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural
103Pablo Torres (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon
104Andy Cappelle (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty0:00:42
105Cheng Ji (Chn) Argos - Shimano
106Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
107Niels Van Dorsselaer (Bel) Colba Superano Ham0:00:43
108Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
109Victor Fobert (Fra) Colba Superano Ham
110Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling
111Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:45
112Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana0:00:46
113Aron Kremer (Ned) Colba Superano Ham0:00:50
114David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural0:00:51
115Dario Hernandez (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon
116David Belda (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon0:00:55
117Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Accent Jobs-Wanty
118Jesus Del Pino (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon0:01:01
119Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty0:01:03
120Steven Caethoven (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty0:01:04
121James Mowatt (Aus) Colba Superano Ham0:01:05
122Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana0:01:08
123Steve Bekaert (Bel) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon0:01:09
124Sven Jodts (Bel) Colba Superano Ham0:01:13
125Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
126Grzegorz Stepniak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:01:49

General classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:06:46
2Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha0:00:02
3Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Sharp0:00:04
4Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol
5Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos - Shimano0:00:06
6Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling0:00:09
7Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:10
8Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha
9Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil - DCM
10Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling0:00:11
11Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp - Endura
12Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
13Jon Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:12
14Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
15Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana
16Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha0:00:13
17José Iván Gutiérrez (Spa) Movistar Team
18Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha
19Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Sojasun
20Jack Bobridge (Aus) Blanco Pro Cycling0:00:14
21Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
22Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Sharp0:00:15
23Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos - Shimano0:00:16
24Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos - Shimano0:00:17
25Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin - Sharp
26José Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:18
27Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team
28Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil - DCM
29Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana
30Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil - DCM0:00:19
31Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin - Sharp
32Yves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
33Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Argos - Shimano
34Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol
35Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
36Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
37Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha0:00:20
38Jacek Morajko (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:00:21
39Iker Camaño (Spa) Team NetApp - Endura
40Maurits Lammereink (Ned) Vacansoleil - DCM0:00:22
41Luis Mas (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon
42Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
43Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Lotto Belisol
44Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:00:23
45Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling
46Antonio Piedra (Spa) Caja Rural
47Clement Lhotellerie (Fra) Colba Superano Ham
48Cyril Bessy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:24
49Karol Domagalski (Pol) Caja Rural
50Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun0:00:25
51Xavier Florencio (Spa) Katusha
52Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil - DCM
53Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Sharp
54Rafael Valls (Spa) Vacansoleil - DCM0:00:26
55Yelko Gomez (Pan) Caja Rural
56Enzo Moyano (Arg) Caja Rural
57Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
58Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol
59Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:27
60Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Sojasun
61Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
62Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin - Sharp
63Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice
64Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp - Endura
65Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:00:28
66Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
67Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp - Endura
68David De La Cruz (Spa) Team NetApp - Endura
69Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:29
70Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
71Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana
72Juan J Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
73Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:00:30
74Sander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
75Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Sojasun
76Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:31
77Thomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
78Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Argos - Shimano
79Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil - DCM
80Rubén Plaza (Spa) Movistar Team
81Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Sojasun0:00:32
82Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp - Endura
83David Tanner (Aus) Blanco Pro Cycling
84Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
85Mark Renshaw (Aus) Blanco Pro Cycling0:00:33
86Mikel Landa (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:34
87Will Routley (Can) Accent Jobs-Wanty
88Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun
89Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Sharp0:00:35
90Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:36
91Moisés Dueñas (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon
92Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:37
93Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
94Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Argos - Shimano
95Marcos García (Spa) Caja Rural0:00:38
96Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
97Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha0:00:39
98Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp - Endura
99Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
100Maxime Mederel (Fra) Sojasun0:00:41
101Jurgen Francois (Bel) Colba Superano Ham
102Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural
103Pablo Torres (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon
104Andy Cappelle (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty0:00:42
105Cheng Ji (Chn) Argos - Shimano
106Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
107Niels Van Dorsselaer (Bel) Colba Superano Ham0:00:43
108Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
109Victor Fobert (Fra) Colba Superano Ham
110Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling
111Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:45
112Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana0:00:46
113Aron Kremer (Ned) Colba Superano Ham0:00:50
114David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural0:00:51
115Dario Hernandez (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon
116David Belda (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon0:00:55
117Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Accent Jobs-Wanty
118Jesus Del Pino (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon0:01:01
119Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty0:01:03
120Steven Caethoven (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty0:01:04
121James Mowatt (Aus) Colba Superano Ham0:01:05
122Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana0:01:08
123Steve Bekaert (Bel) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon0:01:09
124Sven Jodts (Bel) Colba Superano Ham0:01:13
125Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
126Grzegorz Stepniak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:01:49

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