Skip to main content
Live coverage

Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol 2018: Stage 4


Hello and welcome to the action. Today's stage ends with a nasty cobbled climb up to Alcalá de los Gazules.

We join the race mid-stage as the riders tackle the big climb of the day. 

The Puerto de las Palomas is a huge climb, reaching 1200m. However with more than 90km left to race, it is not expected to affect the overall classification. 

After three stages, this is the top ten overall, with Wout Poels (Team Sky) in the leader's red jersey after his stage 2 victory.

Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac) won stage 3 on Friday. 

85km remaining from 194km

Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and teammate Marco Minaard lead over the summit, taking most of the points. 

The two attacked at the foot of the climb and opened a 40-second gap. 

Team Sky, Astana, Lotto-Soudal and EF Education First-Drapac are leading the pack.

The peloton is timed at 1:30 over the top of the climb. Froome, Poels and the other big-name contenders are in the reduced peloton.

The mid-stage mountain includes two peaks with the Puerto del Boya KOM coming after a short descent. It is followed by a long descent down to rolling roads that lead to the finish.

The break is regrouping on the easier roads and descent. 

Cyclingnews reporter Alasdair Fotheringham has just arrived at the finish in Alcalá de los Gazules.

He adds: "It's 700 metres of twisting narrow road in the last km. Too short, I think to make for massive differences, but positioning is going to be really important."

65km remaining from 194km

The stage  passes through the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park and finishes just north of Gibraltar. The race is the southern tip of Spain. 

AS we expected the break has split on the descent, with Vanmarcke and Amador going clear. They are the better descenders.

Today's stage started in the spectacular centre of Seville, with the tourists more interested in the architecture  and history that seeing Chris Froome. 

Pascal Eenkhorn (Lotto NL-Jumbo) and Jeroen Meijers (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) were the only two riders not to start today.

13 riders eventually got away but then the move split when Martin and Minaard attacked on the slopes of the Puerto de las Palomas climb. 

Amador and Vanmarcke now lead Carretero by 1:00 with the peloton at 2:30.

44km remaining from 194km

This image was posted by Velon on Twitter and shows the cobbled climb up to the finish in Alcalá de los Gazules. It will be a real fight for position.

This is the view of the finish line at the end of the cobbled climb.

35km remaining from 194km

Behind both Astana and Team Sky are leading the chase and keeping the pace high.

The peloton is line out in pursuit. The race is on!

Amador and Vanmarcke take drinks before the 20km limit.

27km remaining from 194km

Amador and Vanmarcke are on an exposed climb. This will surely cost them valuable seconds as Astana and Team Sky do huge turns on the front and line out the peloton.

Amador is virtual race leader - he is only 48 seconds behind Poels in the GC. However he is giving it everything up front in the attack.

22km remaining from 194km

Amador flicks his elbow to call Vanmarcke do do a turn but it seems he's been told by his team not to share in the work anymore. 

18km remaining from 194km

The two stay together over the top as Vanmarcke takes over for the fast descent.

Behind Dylan van Baarle is leading the peloton for Team Sky. 

The road is descending gradually, giving the duo in the break a chance of success. 

12km remaining from 194km

Vanmarcke takes in a late gel for a final burst of energy.  He is doing some big turns on the front despite being on the attack all day.

10km remaining from 194km

8km remaining from 194km

Mikel Landa will be Movistar's protected rider for the finish.

6km remaining from 194km

5km remaining from 194km

4km remaining from 194km

He's chasing in the team cars. This is a big moment for his race.

He's trying to use the race convoy to get back up but his chances of stage victory and his GC chances seem over.

2km remaining from 194km

But the two refuse to give up hope and push on.

The climb to the finish will explode the race.

1km remaining from 194km

Theo road kicks up and Amador and Vanmarcke are caught as the gradient touches 19%. 

1km remaining from 194km

Landa leads. But where is Poels?

They turn right and start on the cobbles. 

Wellens joins Landa.

Fuglsang and others are trying to cross the gap.

The road dips but will climb again on cobbled roads all the way to the finish.

Wellens and Landa are together.

Wellens comes to the front and looks for the smoother gutter. 

He opens a 10 metre gap. 

Wellens wins! 

Landa cones in to take second.

Poels made a fight back but lost about 15 seconds.

Riders are reaching the finish one by one. Everyone is hurting on the steep, cobbled climb.

Landa was a little generous early on the climb and paid for it when Wellens blasted past him with 300 metres to go. 

In the results Wellens gained five seconds on Landa. 

Wellens is the new race leader, seven seconds ahead of Landa, with Poels at11 and Fuglsang at 14.

With Chris Froome suffering a late flat and losing time, the battle for overall victory looks to be between these four riders.  

The 14km TT is around the small ton of Barbate.

The finish was expected to be spectacular and it lives up to expectations.

Wellens is rewarded for his win with a model of the local church and shirt on the podium.

Wellens is also awarded the leader's red jersey. That was a superb win by the 26 year-old Belgian. 

This is the top ten for the stage: 

The finish was all about positioning and then power and threshold on the cobbled climb to the line.

This is the General Classification after stage 4:

There are no time bonuses at the Ruta del Sol and so the gaps at the finish made the difference today and shook up the overall classification.

It's a busy weekend of racing. With the Ruta del Sol done, why not join us for live coverage of the Volta ao Algarve. 

We're hearing that Chris Froome lost 1:20 due to his late flat. He was forced to chase in the cars and despite catching the tail of the race he was unable to move up.       

This is the first photo of Tim Wellens as he celebrates his victory. 

Stage winner and new race leader Tim Wellens spoke briefly after his successful day.

Thanks for following our live coverage today from the Ruta del Sol.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Latest on Cyclingnews