Ruta del Sol: Stage 5

Ethan Hayter sprinted to his second stage victory of the race at Ruta del Sol in a hectic finale to secure the points classification, Miguel Ángel López wins the overall

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Ruta del Sol: Stage 5

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Hayter rounded off a superb race for the Londoner with teammate Carlos Rodriguez leading him out for the final sprint, narrowly avoiding a crash near the line, to earn the green jersey. The decisive move to win the stage was initiated by his team with Leonardo Basso and Luke Rowe chasing down the early break as the race neared the final 15 kilometres. The hard pace easily caught the escapees, before Owain Doull and Eddie Dunbar took over from their teammates to continue to shred the peloton ahead of a punchy final climb. Rodriguez then helped Hayter to maintain contact with the reduced lead group on the ascent before leading the Londoner out to secure his second win in five stages

Ethan Hayter: “The team were amazing, Leo Basso pulled today and pretty much every day. They were great all week and we ended up with Carlos fourth and I was eighth overall in the end.
It was a short stage, so flat out on the last climb and I just about held on at the back! Then there were crosswinds in the sprint, so I let Carlos go and ran at him. Impey and Stannard had a coming together which I could see in my peripheral vision. It’s not the way you want to win the sprint, but that’s bike racing.”

Miguel Ángel López wins for Movistar
The Colombian Miguel Ángel López snatched a tenth overall success for Eusebio Unzué’s squads at Ruta del Sol. It was a day free of setbacks for Saturday’s short, intense final stage – 107km from Vera to Pulpí, in Almería. Miguel Ángel López (Movistar Team) was able to add the 67th edition of the Vuelta a Andalucía (Ruta del Sol) to his already considerable palmarès. It’s the fourth GC victory achieved by ‘Superman’ in his career, as well as the first for him in the Telefónica-backed squad – only a month after making his debut in the Blue jersey.

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The pursuit work from Juri Hollmann and the protection by Mora, Serrano, Rojas, Carretero and González all kept López calm early into a really well controlled stage. The early break from Okamika (BBH), Cuadrado (EUS) and Mertens (SVB) was caught with 10km to go with the pace high all day, as INEOS and BikeExchange reduced the bunch into the final Geoda (Cat-3) climb to barely 20 riders. That selected field included Serrano (6th today) and López (4th), who, just like his team-mate, had to avoid a crash from Stannard (BEX) and Impey (ISN) in the final sprint.

Miguel Ángel López: “I’m so happy with this victory. We’ve finished the day in the best possible way. We came to this race with some good mentality, looking forward to showing our colours and taking this Vuelta a Andalucía really seriously. We had already been racing in Romandie, where I gained confidence after seven months with no racing, then two of the Mallorca Challenge trophies and then here, where we came with an aim to win a stage – and see what we got!

“Regarding today’s finish, I was riding a bit more behind because, in the end, it was a better sprint for riders like Impey or Hayter and we had a better chance with Gonzalo to go for the stage win. I was a bit behind, as I said, but into those final turns I decided to gain some positions to avoid any time gaps, and as the crash happened on the left-hand side, I was on the right and ended up ahead of Gonzalo. I don’t even know how that crash happened, can’t say anything about it.

“It was a super job from the whole team. Thanks to all the boys, they were sensational and made things quite easier for me. Things are going so well at this moment in the team, my adaptation to this new structure is going well and there was no better way to thank them for the support to bring them a stage win + GC here. Also Gonzalo’s victory here on day one – a great week for everybody!



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