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Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol 2017: Stage 1

Stage 1 of the Ruta del Sol is well underway and after 40 kilometres we've got six riders out front ahead of the peloton. 

The riders in the breakaway are Georg Preidler (Sunweb) Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal),  Florian Sénéchal (Cofidis), Berden de Vries (Roompot), Aviv Yechezkel (Israel Cycling Academy), Pablo Torres Muiño (Burgos BH). They've got over four minutes on the peloton at the moment. 

 

We're getting news that Tom Van Asbroeck has abandoned the race.

 

News from the finish is that it's nice and sunny with a slight breeze. After some difficult conditions early this season, that will be nice for the peloton. 

 

An update on the breakaway, it is Daniel Turek in the break rather than Yechezkel and Krill Sveshnikov is up there too. 

 

Trek-Segafredo are doing the chase at the moment and they've brought the lead down to 2:40 now. 

 

This is what the riders are tackling at the moment. Five classified climbs in total. 

 

Contador is sitting safely in the peloton as his team pile the pressure on. Incidentally, the Spaniard is racing his new Trek Emonda for the first time. You can see the custom paintwork here

 

The Cannondale team are also riding shiny new bikes today as they debut the SuperSix Evo disc.

The escapees have passed through the feedzone and are well on the way to the fourth classified climb of the day. 

 

If you haven't yet, take a listen to the latest Cyclingnews Podcast where we take a look behind the scenes at Trek-Segafredo. 

 

56km remaining from 155km

With 56 kilometres to go, the gap to the escapees has dropped drastically to 1:15. Trek is chasing hard now and their days are numbered. 

 

Today's finish may be familiar to some. It was largely used in the 2006 Vuelta a Espana, where Tom Danielson won and Alejandro Valverde lost the overall battle to Alexander Vinokourov. 

 

Cadel Evans also had misfortune on today's final climb back in 2009, losing the GC battle to Alejandro Valverde. 

 

Back to the racing action and Sveshnikov has called time on his stint in the breakaway and is now back in the peloton. Van Der Sande is also in no man's land. 

 

49km remaining from 155km

The remaining escapees are doing their best to hang on but, with the gap at 1 minute, it is going to be a hard task. 

 

Van der Sande is back with the leaders but he is now only one of three up front. Senechal and Turek are with him and they are holding the gap at a minute for now. 

 

The cobbled Classics will kick off in a little over a week's time. Are you new to cycling or do you just need a refresher? Watch our beginner's guide to the cobbled Classics right here

 

40km remaining from 155km

The three escapees are still working well as a group but there is nothing they can do to stop the tide of the peloton coming in. Will one of them try a last-ditch attempt?

37km remaining from 155km

And the peloton sweeps up the last three escapees with 37km to go and we've still got one climb to tackle. 

The peloton is really zipping along at the moment. Being at the front is key for this final climb. Losing out here could put an end to any general classification hopes the riders may have. 

 

35km remaining from 155km

There are still 10 kilometres to go until the foot of the climb. The peloton is likely to hold together until they're a little closer, but you never do know.

Pierre Rolland is right near the back of the peloton. It looks like he's struggling to keep up with the high pace of the bunch on these flat roads. 

 

The roads narrow a little as the peloton approaches this climb. Lots of teams trying to move to the front, including Gazprom and CCC Sprandi Polkowice. 

 

28km remaining from 155km

Jesus Hernandez is he Trek rider hammering it on the front. Is he setting up an attack from Contador?

 

The pace is too much for some and the group is splintering all over as FDJ now put someone on the front. They're working for Thibaut Pinot. 

 

26km remaining from 155km

Movistar now represented on the front to with Victor de la Parte. The road really ramping up. 

 

Dwindling numbers in that front group now. Somewhere between 40 and 50 riders remaining. It will be a lot less than that by the top of the climb. 

 

25km remaining from 155km

Contador puts a dig in now and he's pulling out a gap. 

 

Conador has blown the race apart now. There's a group of five chasing him with another group of two behind and around six more behind that. 

 

Contador looks over his shoulder to see who is behind him. It looks like Valverde has broken out alone and is closing him down. 

 

24km remaining from 155km

Yep that is Valverde and the two are now together. 

 

The GC is likely to be between these two guys but who will come up trumps. Valverde has already shown his descending skills are still top notch with his win last week. 

 

A group of four riders have bridged over to the duo up front, including Rigoberto Uran and Ion Izagirre. 

 

Diego Rosa and Wout Poels are also up there for Team Sky.

 

Ooof. The road is really steepening and the riders have slowed to a crawl. Rosa now takes the front and ups the pace again. They can see another group closing in on them now. 

 

Around 10 riders about to bridge up to these leaders, including riders from FDJ, Trek and Bahrain-Merida. 

 

23km remaining from 155km

The two groups are now together and Bahrain immediately put someone up front to manage the pace. They've got serious numbers in this group now. 

 

Landa attacks. 

 

The leaders can see more riders making ground and Landa puts in a couple of digs. He is marked by Contador, who brings him back and moves to the front again. The move has served to shed some riders again. 

 

Landa dropped back briefly but attacks again. This time he gets a decent gap. 

 

The chasing group behind Landa is now only eight riders. The main contenders are all in there. 

 

Sebastien Reichenbach has put himself in that chasing group for FDJ. 

 

Cink is also in there for Bahrain-Merida. An impressive ride from him as Pinot battles his way in.

 

This is very much a fluid situation. As the pace yo-yos riders are being dropped and catching up again. Landa's little attack has come to nought and he is brought back in but perhaps he has softened up his rivals for his teammates. 

 

20km remaining from 155km

Contador is in a determined mood today. He attacks again and brings Valverde with him. It's too much for Uran who has been dropped. 

 

With Contador is Valverde amd Rosa while Izagirre battles just behind. 

 

Poels, Landa and Reichenbach have all chased back on too. They are not making this easy. 

 

The riders are now on the descent and its pretty much downhill from here. 

 

Rosa is leading the quick pace down the climb. They're ticking along at almost 60kph. 

 

18km remaining from 155km

Cink, Pinot and Uran are back on. How many riders will remain in this group by the time they reach the line?

 

Now it is Valverde's turn to attack. It's his first proper move today and he's got Contador in his wheel. 

 

The group is in bits now and its a test of the riders' mettle. Valverde leads the way with Contador chasing hard. 

 

16km remaining from 155km

Contador has got right down onto his top tube for this descent. Not for the lighthearted. 

 

Valverde showed that he has got no fear ont he descents at the Vuelta a Murcia, performing a little hop over a bump in the road while descending at breakneck speeds. 

 

It looks like Rosa is third out there on the road. This is his first race in Sky colours. 

 

88kph is the speed clocked on the following motorbikes with Valverde. The riders are taking so many risks to keep in touch with each other. 

 

10km remaining from 155km

Rosa is actually second on the road it seems. Contador has just caught Izagirre and the two are going hell for leather in chase. Valverde has only six seconds on the next rider, despite all that effort. 

 

The road has flattened out and Valverde has been caught by Contador, Rosa and Izagirre. We can all breathe again as the pace slows just a little. 

 

Valverde still heading proceedings. Rosa is so close to his back wheel he's practically sitting in his saddle. Contador is third in line with Izagirre fourth. 

 

6km remaining from 155km

The road will flatten out slightly with around 5km to go. This is going to be a very fast finish though. 

 

Poels and Reichenbach are not too far behind this leading group. They have them in their sights as the race rolls into the finishing town. 

 

11 seconds is the gap between the two groups. 

 

The four leaders are looking at each other a little. Not quite an all-out stalemate but they're wary of doing too much work in the run to the finish. 

 

3km remaining from 155km

Only a few bike lengths between Reichenbach and the four leaders. Do they stand a chance of victory today or has the chase taken it out of them? We'll have to wait and see. 

 

Gruppo compatto so to speak. We've got a seven-man group going to the line. 

 

Sky has the numbers to make this difficult for the others.

 

1km remaining from 155km

Rosa is riding hard on the front and he almost shells out his teammate Poels. 

 

Attack Reichenbach. 

 

1km remaining from 155km

The Swiss rider comes right from the back of the group and tries to use the element of surprise. It takes him so long to get to the front that they see him coming and his move is quickly closed down. 

 

500m to go 

 

Poels attacks

 

Valverde has the edge on him and takes the win. 

 

Valverde is so happy with his win that he almost crashes as he celebrates. 

 

A replay from overhead shows that Valverde won by a clear bike's length. Poels made the initial move but he tired in the final metres. 

 

A shot from the organisers at the finish. 

 

This is how the stage finished today.

 

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 4:02:28
2 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky
3 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ
4 Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky
5 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
7 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:05
8 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky
9 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac
10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb

 

If you thought today was rough, just look at tomorrow. 

 

Results and report already coming in and we'll have photos from today's stage too. You'll be able to find all of that right here

 

Alejandro Valverde in the red jersey. A position he has been used to after winning the race four times in the past. 

 

 

Tour of Oman: Hermans wins stage 2 | https://t.co/8v2pd0E5QV https://t.co/HWWnDrBAjD

@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 15th Feb 2017 16:25:06

How were those numbers? Checking @srmtraining with DS @stevendejongh after S1 #63RdS. From the way @albertocontador… https://t.co/8qqRmC6OQM

@TrekSegafredo Wed, 15th Feb 2017 16:29:41

The official GC top 10 is in. With no time bonuses awarded, it looks an awful lot like the stage top 10 with Valverde leading the way. 

 

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 4:02:28
2 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky
3 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ
4 Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky
5 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
7 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:05
8 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky
9 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac
10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb

 

Our full Ruta del Sol stage one report has landed. Read it here.

 

We shall bid you farewell for now. See you all tomorrow for more from the Ruta del Sol. 

 

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