Report – Ruta Ciclista Del Sol


Juan Jose Lobato won the final stage in the Ruta Ciclista Del Sol whilst the day saw the first stage race victory for Chris Froome in 2015

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Report – Ruta Ciclista Del Sol

Juan Jose Lobato won the final stage in the Ruta Ciclista Del Sol whilst the day saw the first stage race victory for Chris Froome in 2015 with Contador unable to break the elastic keeping them together.

The final stage 5 from Montilla took the riders 171km along rolling roads of a gradual decline to the town of Alhaurín de la Torre near the sea. A seven-rider breakaway was tightly controlled during the entire stage with the last rider swept up with 7km to go, as Tinkoff-Saxo surged to the front of the main bunch in a last attempt to create gaps, splits and havoc on the technical approach to the finish line atop a 1,200m ramp.

Steven de Jongh, Tinkoff-Saxo sports director, describes the stage: “It was a very fast day and we tried to take back a couple of seconds in the finale but it was not possible. Froome stuck to the wheel of Alberto, as we put pressure on the front. So we ended with the same standings as when the stage had started”.
Battle Number 1 Goes to Froome
Chris Froome only needed to finish on the same time as Alberto Contador to seal his first race win of 2015 and with Contador unable to break clear of his Team Sky rival, the early-season bragging rights go to Froome.

Froome said: “It wasn’t as easy as I’d imagined and the racing was full on today. It was windy, but I’m really happy with how the guys performed out there – they supported me all the way through and I’m delighted to get this win for them.

“It couldn’t have gone any better for us out here, and this win’s special as it’s my first race of the season. That said, I still have a lot to build on as we head towards the Tour de France. I want to stay on this path, staying healthy and injury-free, and gradually building my form.

“No win comes easily – you have to work for them – and I’m grateful to my wife, and my team for helping to get me in this position. It’s such a privilege to have that infrastructure behind me.”

“This week’s been a huge morale boost for everyone in the team, not just here but in the Algarve as well. Richie winning yesterday and Geraint taking the GC has given us all a great buzz. We’re doing really well and hopefully we can build on that heading into this next phase of racing.”

Alberto Contador: “I’m pleased with the progression of my shape. Actually, I’m a bit surprised to be at this level at this part of the early season. I’m not too far in my preparations, but I see my performance on the stage that I won and in the time trial as a sign that I’m ready to reach for my main season objectives”, says Alberto Contador and adds:

“Two seconds separated me from the win, but today there was little I could do to take back time on Froome. But the most important aspect is that my preparations for my main objectives are going perfect. It wouldn’t have changed anything if I had won, as we still need to prepare for the next goals with the same concentration no matter what”.

Stage (final)
1. Juan Jose Lobato, Movistar Team 3:48:56
2. John Degenkolb, team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:01
3. Sylvain Chavanel, IAM Cycling 0:00:02
4. Pim Ligthart, Lotto – Soudal
5. Grega Bole, CCC Sprandi Polkowice
6. Chris Froome, Team Sky
7. Moreno Hofland, Team Lotto NL – Jumbo
8. Jan Bakelants, Ag2r La Mondiale
9. Alberto Contador,Tinkoff – Saxo
10. Nicolas Edet, Cofidis, Solutions Crédits

22. Peter Kennaugh, Team Sky 0:00:15
31. Nicholas Roche, Team Sky 0:00:22
83. Matthew Brammeier, MTN – Qhubeka 1.44
117. Hugh Carthy, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:06:40

1. Chris Froome, Team Sky 21:21:14
2. Alberto Contador Velasco, Tinkoff – Saxo 0:00:02
3. Benat Intxausti Elorriagai, Movistar Team 0:02:38
4. Mikel Nieve Ituralde, Team Sky 0:03:05
5. Romain Bardet, Ag2r La Mondiale 0:03:13
6. Peter Kennaugh, Team Sky 0:04:03
7. Xabier Zandio Echaide, Team Sky 0:05:10
8. Kanstantsin Siutsou, Team Sky 0:05:17
9. Sylvain Chavanel, IAM Cycling 0:05:30
10. Bob Jungels, Trek Factory Racing 0:05:50

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