Ruta del Sol: Fuglsang wins stage 3

Race leader Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) has strengthened his overall lead in the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol and further increased his prospects of taking a second straight title after he outpowered a small group of favourites in a chaotic finale on stage 3.

In a fraught, constantly undulating, last kilometre, with riders already close to exhaustion by the hardest mountain stage of this year's race, two of Fuglsang's key rivals, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain McLaren) and Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) managed to gain a tiny gap on the Dane, who seemed to be flagging.

But on a sharp righthand bend some 50 metres from the finish - the last corner of the day - both Teuns and Haig abruptly, and for reasons yet to be fully established, went straight on and off-course, down the race vehicles' diversion lane. 

Before the two could wheel round again, Fugslang - following close behind but not taking the same line - was perfectly placed to storm past and across the finish line a little further on, his arms raised in triumph.

Although visibly ruing the chance for a prestigious stage win, overall Haig and Teuns only lost a handful of seconds as a result of their mishap, and the two may yet turn the tables on Fuglsang on the toughest single climb of the race, the brutally difficult first category Alto del Purche on Saturday.

But for now, the Dane's victory has enabled Fuglsang to draw slightly clearer at the head of a still-closely packed top end of the GC, pushing his overall advantage out to 14 seconds on Mikel Landa (Bahrain Mclaren) and 30 seconds on Landa's teammate Pello Bilbao.

How it unfolded

Fuglsang's victory rounded off what had been a very tough day for the entire peloton, with five classifed ascents - two of them first category - and over 3,000 metres of vertical climbing through the never-ending olive groves of Andalucia's most northeasterly province of Jaén.

The peloton split in three almost as soon as the start flag had dropped, and when a lead group of 44 sheered off the front, it was clear Astana would have their work cut out.  The lead group then morphed into a much smaller but still dangerous break of 10 riders, including GC contender Andrey Zeits (Mitchelton-Scott), Movistar co-leader Luis Más, and no less than three riders from Alpecin-Fenix: Floris de Tier, Louis Vervaeke and Jimmy Janssens.

Whether on team orders or for another reason, Zeits dropped out of the running, whilst despite the hefty mountain challenges, the blue jerseys of Astana and Fugslang's bright yellow leader's maillot were able to keep a commendably tight rein on affairs in the chasing peloton. 

Astana were canny or lucky enough to let the break reach the smoothly rising second category drag that formed the final classified climb of the day, with a good 90 second margin to spare - barely enough to stay away, but sufficient to discourage too many counter-attacks. Then despite Mas' best efforts,  by the time the race reached the summit of the broad highway through the city of Baeza the bunch had the stage leaders clearly in their sights.

A blisteringly fast descent towards the Renaissance city of Ubeda then took the race into its technical, switchback finale, culminating with a paved rise through painfully narrow, twisting streets. Once Mas and co were definitively reeled in, Landa began a long, driving acceleration that set things up nicely for Teuns to come over the top and - briefly - seem to put Fugslang into difficulties. But a treacherous right-hand bend put paid to Teuns' chances on a stage win, and indirectly left Fuglsang in control of Andalucia for at least another day.

Saturday's much shorter mountain stage, rolling through the foothills of Sierra Nevada before a repeat of the 2019 ascent of Purche and blisteringly fast drop back to the finish town of Granada, could well see Fuglsang under more sustained attacks. 

Sandwiched between Fuglsang and teammate Ion Izagirre (Astana Pro Team) there are no less than three Bahrain McLaren riders in second to fourth overall - Landa, Teuns and Bilbao  - while Haig, in fifth, will also be keen to give Fuglsang a run for his money. And with only two stages remaining, they will have to take whatever chances they can to topple Fuglsang.


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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 4:33:25
2Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren
3Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:01
4Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:04
5Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:06
6Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:08
7Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
8Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren
9Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:13
10Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:00:26
11Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
12Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea
13Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren
14Brent Bookwalter (USA) Mitchelton-Scott
15Orluis Alberto Aular Sanabria (Ven) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
16Chris Harper (Aus) Team Jumbo-Visma
17Kristian Aasvold (Nor) Riwal Readynez 0:00:30
18Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
19Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
20Petr Vakoc (Cze) Fenix-Alpecin
21Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
22Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
23Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
24Jan Bakelants (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
25Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea
26Ibai Azurmendi Sagastibeltza (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea
27Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
28Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Fenix-Alpecin
29Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team
30Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles 0:00:51
31Roger Adria Oliveras (Spa) Kern Pharma
32Simone Velasco (Ita) Gazprom-Rusvelo
33Julien Simon (Fra) Total Direct Energie
34Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Mitchelton-Scott
35Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale
36Juan Felipe Osorio Arboleda (Col) Burgos-BH
37David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
38Alvaro Cuadros Morata (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
39Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R la Mondiale
40Willem Jakobus Smit (RSA) Burgos-BH
41Denis Nekrasov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
42Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
43Paul Martens (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma
44Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH
45Urko Berrade Fernandez (Spa) Kern Pharma
46Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Riwal Readynez
47Jaime Castrillo Zapater (Spa) Kern Pharma
48Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos-BH
49Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
50Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:58
51Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:01:20
52Jose Felix Parra Cuerda (Spa) Kern Pharma 0:01:30
53Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale 0:01:35
54Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Total Direct Energie 0:01:37
55Ivan Moreno Sanchez (Spa) Kern Pharma
56Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea
57Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
58Emiel Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
59Pablo Bonilla (Spa) Burgos-BH
60Jon Agirre Egaña (Spa) Kern Pharma
61Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:01:52
62Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:02:25
63Taco Van der Hoorn (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:02:46
64Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:02:47
65Floris De Tier (Bel) Fenix-Alpecin 0:02:49
66Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Circus-Wanty Gobert
67Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain McLaren 0:02:55
68Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team 0:02:58
69Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team
70Kobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
71Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:02:59
72Artem Nych (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
73Aleksei Rybalkin (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:03:16
74Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
75Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 0:03:27
76Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:03:30
77Christoffer Lisson (Den) Riwal Readynez 0:03:34
78Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Fenix-Alpecin 0:03:39
79Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:04:01
80Ludovic Robeet (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
81Niki Terpstra (Ned) Total Direct Energie 0:04:06
82Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct Energie 0:04:14
83Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:04:18
84Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 0:04:20
85James Shaw (GBr) Riwal Readynez 0:04:23
86Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal 0:04:26
87Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
88Joel Nicolau Beltran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:04:30
89Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:05:05
90Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles 0:05:07
91Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain McLaren
92Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain McLaren
93Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team 0:05:12
94Thomas Boudat (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
95Txomin Juaristi Arrieta (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea 0:05:19
96Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
97Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:05:22
98Sergio Roman Martin Galan (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:05:27
99Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott 0:05:44
100Alexander Konychev (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
101Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal 0:06:16
102Jerome Cousin (Fra) Total Direct Energie
103Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale 0:06:28
104Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:07:35
105Scott Thwaites (GBr) Fenix-Alpecin
106Jokin Aranburu Arruti (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea
107Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Fenix-Alpecin
108Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Lotto Soudal 0:08:14
109Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:09:16
110Julien Mortier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles 0:10:08
111Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:10:12
112Adrien Petit (Fra) Total Direct Energie
113Kevin Reza (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
114Florian Vachon (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
115Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Movistar Team 0:11:16
116Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) Riwal Readynez 0:12:44
117Christophe Noppe (Bel) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:12:53
118Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
119Thibault Guernalec (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:13:49
120Jens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
121Franklin Six (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
122Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:14:18
123Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spa) Movistar Team
124Anton Kuzmin (Kaz) Gazprom-Rusvelo
125Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Kern Pharma 0:14:19
126Juan Jose Lobato del Valle (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea 0:14:57
127Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:15:44
128Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
129Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 0:23:15
130Carmelo Urbano Fontiveros (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
131Julien Morice (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
132Damien Gaudin (Fra) Total Direct Energie 0:26:48
DNFKris Boeckmans (Bel) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
DNFMartijn Budding (Ned) Riwal Readynez
DNFMarco Canola (Ita) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFStijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale
DNFPhilipp Walsleben (Ger) Fenix-Alpecin
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General classification after stage 3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 14:22:26
2Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:04
3Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:30
4Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:31
5Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:34
6Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:35
7Chris Harper (Aus) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:23
8Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:27
9Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea 0:01:36
10Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal

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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.

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