Photo finish sees win for Ciolek on stage 3 of Ruta Del Sol


Milan San Remo Gerald Ciolek who rides for South African team MTN-Qhubeka was too quick for his rivals in a big bunch kick at the end of stage 3 in the Ruta Del Sol

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Photo finish sees win for Ciolek on stage 3 of Ruta Del Sol

In an extremely fast and exciting finish, Gerald Ciolek reigned supreme at stage 3 of the Ruta Del Sol. The Team MTN-Qhubeka sprinter edged out Roy Jans (Wanty) and Moreno Hofland (Belkin) to take his first victory of the season.


On a day that was destined to come down to a bunch sprint, four riders tried their luck in an early escape but the break never got more than a five minute gap as a number of teams had an interest in bringing the race down to a bunch sprint. The early leaders were inevitably brought back inside 12km to go.

Team Sky were at the helm with 10km to go but Team MTN-Qhubeka had strength in numbers over the final kilometres looking at Ciolek. Timing its lead out to perfection, MTN-Qhubeka took control of affairs with 4km to go when Daniel Teklehaimanot brought the black and yellow train to the head of the race.

With a number of teams fighting to get something out of the race, the final kilometre became messy with a nasty crash taking down a number of riders just inside the final three kilometres, but Andreas Stauff (MTN-Qhubeka) was still able to drop Ciolek off in the prime position to start his sprint. Ciolek had nothing but praise for his teammates after the race. “I am very happy to take this victory but today it was great work by the whole team. Andy did such an incredible job for us in the final kilometre. This is a very important victory for us and I am happy to start the season this way,” Ciolek said.

Tomorrow stage 4 will bring the Ruta Del Sol to its conclusion when the peloton race from Ubrique to Fuengirola over 159km. The stage, a medium mountain one, will see the final GC battle with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in a commanding position. After the sprint stage he said “It was quite a calm day, but it still got a bit nervous in the finale”.

“The crash was pretty big and it did happen just after me – fortunately, we didn’t have any problems and could reach the finish properly, so we’re happy. There’s only one day left and we hope to get over it in the best of ways. I have examined the profile and the stage will be pretty hard from the beginning, but as long as we get over the first 60-70k without troubles, I think we stand a huge chance to win this one.”

Bradley Wiggins came in three minutes down after doing some ‘training’ at the front of the peloton chasing the break, stringing out the peloton and keeping it in a line before pulling the pin and rolling in.

Stage Result
1 CIOLEK Gerald MTN – Qhubeka 04:17:39
2 JANS Roy Wanty – Groupe Gobert
3 HOFLAND Moreno Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
4 ARNDT Nikias Team Giant-Shimano
5 VAN ASBROECK Tom Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
6 DEBUSSCHERE Jens Lotto Belisol
7 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald Team Sky
8 SILVESTRE Fábio Trek Factory Racing
9 VANBILSEN Kenneth Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
10 VIGANO Davide Caja Rural – Seguros RGA

29 PORTE Richie Team Sky
32 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar Team
40 THOMAS Geraint Team Sky
42 HENDERSON Greg Lotto Belisol
50 REBELLIN Davide CCC Polsat Polkowice
58 KENNAUGH Peter Team Sky
59 KIRYIENKA Vasil Team Sky
103 VOIGT Jens Trek Factory Racing
114 WIGGINS Bradley Team Sky 03:04

1 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar Team 14:37:51
2 PORTE Richie Team Sky 00:20
3 SANCHEZ Luis Leon Caja Rural – Seguros RGA 00:22
4 IZAGIRRE Ion Movistar Team 00:33
5 KANGERT Tanel Astana Pro Team 00:43
6 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 00:44
7 DEGAND Thomas Wanty – Groupe Gobert 00:51
8 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 00:55
9 SCARPONI Michele Astana Pro Team 01:02
10 MATE MARDONES Luis Angel Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 01:24
11 GARCIA FERNANDEZ Marcos Caja Rural – Seguros RGA 01:27
12 THOMAS Geraint Team Sky 01:30
13 PARDILLA BELLON Sergio MTN – Qhubeka 01:36
14 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar Trek Factory Racing 02:04
15 DE CLERCQ Bart Lotto Belisol 02:06
16 REBELLIN Davide CCC Polsat Polkowice 02:10
17 LINDEMAN Bert-Jan Rabobank Development Team 02:17
18 TIRALONGO Paolo Astana Pro Team 02:20
19 DE GREEF Francis Wanty – Groupe Gobert 02:21
20 KENNAUGH Peter Team Sky



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