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Valverde attacks from afar to win the Ruta del Sol

Alejandro Valverde came into the fifth and final stage of the Ruta del Sol 22 seconds behind race leader Tejay van Garderen in the general classification, but that wasn’t enough to keep him down. The Movistar veteran launched a powerful attack just over seven kilometers from the line on the Peñas Blancas climb and won the stage a cool 48 seconds ahead of van Garderen (BMC Racing), enough to earn him a fourth career GC victory in the race.

Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo) took second on the 171km stage, which secured him third overall behind Valverde and van Garderen, while Tinkoff’s Rafal Majka rounded out the stage podium.

Top 10, stage 5

  • 1. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, MOVISTAR TEAM, in 4:46:51
  • 2. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :36
  • 3. Rafal MAJKA, TINKOFF, at :42
  • 4. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :48
  • 5. Roman KREUZIGER, TINKOFF, at 1:07
  • 6. Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 1:08
  • 7. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:16
  • 8. Igor ANTON HERNANDEZ, DIMENSION DATA, at 1:19
  • 9. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, TEAM SKY, at 1:27
  • 10. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 1:30

 

Top 10 overall

  • 1. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, MOVISTAR TEAM, in 17:41:10
  • 2. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :26
  • 3. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :52
  • 4. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :56
  • 5. Rafal MAJKA, TINKOFF, at 1:11
  • 6. Roman KREUZIGER, TINKOFF, at 1:37
  • 7. Wouter POELS, TEAM SKY, at 1:42
  • 8. Brent BOOKWALTER, BMC RACING TEAM, at 2:03
  • 9. Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 2:14
  • 10. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, TEAM SKY, at 2:45

 

After winning Saturday’s time trial, van Garderen took a two-second lead over LottoNL-Jumbo’s Wilco Kelderman into stage 5, but it was the rider sitting in eighth overall at the start of the final stage that overhauled the American in the end. Valverde took advantage of a challenging final climb of nearly 15km at over 6% to deliver the knockout blow.

BMC and Sky drove a hard pace in the lead group to close down one attack after another on the early slopes of the climb, but nobody could reel in Valverde when he made his move with 7.2km to go. Despite the best efforts of BMC’s Brent Bookwalter, Valverde quickly opened a sizable gap on a select group of favorites, picking up half a minute of an advantage after 2km on the move.

With a little over 3km left to race, van Garderen made an attempt to bridge to the Spaniard, but he was unable to close down the gap. Majka and Mollema latched on to van Garderen’s wheel, and both riders left the American behind in the final kilometer, but nobody could catch the rider up the road.

Valverde claimed the stage win with 36 seconds to spare over Mollema. Majka crossed the line a further six seconds back, with van Garderen taking fourth on the stage.

Valverde’s overall Ruta victory is his fourth in five years. The 36-year-old also won the 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions of the race.

“It’s the most exciting victory of the four I’ve got here,” he said. “It’s true that the previous three were also beautiful, but I was feeling like this one was going away from my hands day by day. I felt comfortable all stage today, despite the route being so demanding — which also was for me. The team was also doing well and wanted to try and move the race, and we profited from several other teams who wished to go on the attack to make a fast race so we could get a chance to leave van Garderen back into the last climb.

“We launched several of our guys into the early moves, with Rubén [Fernandez] into a more serious break and Dani [Moreno] in the finale, and when I saw the others struggling a bit halfway through the last Peñas Blancas, I knew that I had to go on a long attack if I wanted to win the GC.”

Van Garderen was understandably disappointed after the stage, but he was gracious in defeat.

“I picked my moment with about 3km to go and tried to put my head down and claw back enough time to keep the jersey, but it wasn’t to be,” he said. “Hats off to Valverde, that was a good move. He pulled it off with a lot of guts, it was impressive.”

In any case, van Garderen was able to draw a few positives out of his first stage race of the season, where he nabbed a stage victory and an overall podium result.

“The team showed that we were really strong,” he said. “We have a couple of lessons to take away from this but in the end I think we showed that we are all in good shape and we’re motivated and ready to take on the next challenge.”

Stage 5 results

  • 1. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, MOVISTAR TEAM, in 4:46:51
  • 2. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :36
  • 3. Rafal MAJKA, TINKOFF, at :42
  • 4. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :48
  • 5. Roman KREUZIGER, TINKOFF, at 1:07
  • 6. Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 1:08
  • 7. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:16
  • 8. Igor ANTON HERNANDEZ, DIMENSION DATA, at 1:19
  • 9. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, TEAM SKY, at 1:27
  • 10. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 1:30
  • 11. Wouter POELS, TEAM SKY, at 1:44
  • 12. Bart DE CLERCQ, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 1:56
  • 13. Brent BOOKWALTER, BMC RACING TEAM, at 2:10
  • 14. Fabio FELLINE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 3:00
  • 15. Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ, DIMENSION DATA, at 3:12
  • 16. Maxime MONFORT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 3:12
  • 17. Thomas DEGAND, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 3:12
  • 18. Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO, BMC RACING TEAM, at 3:12
  • 19. Reto HOLLENSTEIN, IAM CYCLING, at 3:12
  • 20. Louis VERVAEKE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 3:26
  • 21. Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 3:30
  • 22. Hugh CARTHY, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 3:45
  • 23. Sylwester SZMYD, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 4:15
  • 24. Gianni MOSCON, TEAM SKY, at 4:15
  • 25. Sylvain CHAVANEL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 4:15
  • 26. Lukasz OWSIAN, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 5:27
  • 27. Felix GROSSSCHARTNER, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 5:27
  • 28. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 5:27
  • 29. Huub DUYN, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 5:27
  • 30. Riccardo ZOIDL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 5:27
  • 31. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 5:32
  • 32. Matteo BUSATO, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA, at 6:20
  • 33. Eliot LIETAER, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 6:20
  • 34. Mathias FRANK, IAM CYCLING, at 6:22
  • 35. Jerome COPPEL, IAM CYCLING, at 6:57
  • 36. Sam OOMEN, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 7:17
  • 37. Fabricio FERRARI BARCELO, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 7:41
  • 38. Ibai SALAS, BUR, at 7:41
  • 39. Marcin MROZEK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 8:30
  • 40. Jelle VANENDERT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 8:37
  • 41. Georg PREIDLER, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 9:02
  • 42. Mikel ITURRIA SEGUROLA, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS, at 9:02
  • 43. Martin ELMIGER, IAM CYCLING, at 9:02
  • 44. Imanol ERVITI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 9:02
  • 45. Vasil KIRYIENKA, TEAM SKY, at 9:02
  • 46. Jose Vicente TORIBIO ALCOLEA, MATRIX POWERTAG, at 9:02
  • 47. Nick VAN DER LIJKE, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 10:05
  • 48. Javier MORENO BAZAN, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 10:19
  • 49. Jay MCCARTHY, TINKOFF, at 10:53
  • 50. Tobias LUDVIGSSON, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 11:25
  • 51. Tosh VAN DER SANDE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 11:25
  • 52. Peter STETINA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 11:25
  • 53. Clement CHEVRIER, IAM CYCLING, at 11:25
  • 54. Sergey FIRSANOV, GAZ, at 11:25
  • 55. Jaime ROSON GARCIA, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 11:25
  • 56. Tomasz MARCZYNSKI, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 11:25
  • 57. Tom DEVRIENDT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 11:25
  • 58. Rory SUTHERLAND, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 11:25
  • 59. Maurits LAMMERTINK, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 11:25
  • 60. Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, BMC RACING TEAM, at 11:25
  • 61. Perrig QUEMENEUR, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 12:42
  • 62. Antonio PIEDRA PEREZ, FUNVIC SOUL CYCLES – CARREFOUR, at 12:42
  • 63. Garikoitz BRAVO OIARBIDE, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS, at 13:37
  • 64. Ben HERMANS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 17:12
  • 65. Maarten TJALLINGII, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 17:12
  • 66. Kevin VAN MELSEN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 17:12
  • 67. Enrico BATTAGLIN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 17:12
  • 68. Sergio PARDILLA BELLON, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 17:12
  • 69. Philippe GILBERT, BMC RACING TEAM, at 17:12
  • 70. Ben SWIFT, TEAM SKY, at 17:12
  • 71. Bertjan LINDEMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 17:12
  • 72. Damiano CARUSO, BMC RACING TEAM, at 17:12
  • 73. Nicolas ROCHE, TEAM SKY, at 17:12
  • 74. Tim WELLENS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 17:24
  • 75. Manuele BOARO, TINKOFF, at 17:24
  • 76. Jérôme BAUGNIES, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 18:02
  • 77. Aritz Bagües, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS, at 19:47
  • 78. Jan HIRT, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 19:47
  • 79. Leszek PLUCINSKI, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 19:47
  • 80. Simon GESCHKE, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 21:59
  • 81. Damien GARCIA, STRADALLI – BIKE AID, at 24:54
  • DNF Kanstantsin SIUTSOU, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Frederik VEUCHELEN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Junya SANO, MATRIX POWERTAG
  • DNF Nikolay TRUSOV, TINKOFF
  • DNF Reinier HONIG, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON
  • DNF Javier Francisco ARAMENDIA LORENTE, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA
  • DNF Daniele BENNATI, TINKOFF
  • DNF Paul MARTENS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO
  • DNF Dimitri CLAEYS, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Artem OVECHKIN, GAZ
  • DNF Oliver ZAUGG, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF Filippo POZZATO, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA
  • DNF Pablo TORRES MUINO, BUR
  • DNF Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Enrique SANZ, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA
  • DNF Adrien PETIT, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Yukihiro DOI, MATRIX POWERTAG
  • DNF David TANNER, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF Martijn KEIZER, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO
  • DNF Sander HELVEN, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Cyril LEMOINE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Jesus DEL PINO CORROCHANO, BUR
  • DNF Carlos BARBERO CUESTA, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA
  • DNF Benat TXOPERENA MATXIKOTE, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS
  • DNF Juan Jose LOBATO DEL VALLE, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Alexander FOLIFOROV, GAZ
  • DNF Andrei SOLOMENNIKOV, GAZ
  • DNF Jay Robert THOMSON, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Ruben FERNANDEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Fabien GRELLIER, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Julien MORICE, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Alexandre PICHOT, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Dries VAN GESTEL, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Gijs VAN HOECKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Bert VAN LERBERGHE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Ruben POLS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Magno Prado NAZARET, FUNVIC SOUL CYCLES – CARREFOUR
  • DNF Murilo AFFONSO, FUNVIC SOUL CYCLES – CARREFOUR
  • DNF Kleber DA SILVA RAMOS, FUNVIC SOUL CYCLES – CARREFOUR
  • DNF João GASPAR, FUNVIC SOUL CYCLES – CARREFOUR
  • DNF Airan FERNANDEZ CASASOLA, MATRIX POWERTAG
  • DNF Imanol ESTEVEZ, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS
  • DNF Arnau SOE VALL, BUR
  • DNF Raymond KREDER, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON
  • DNF Christian KNEES, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Oscar GATTO, TINKOFF
  • DNF Kiel REIJNEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Roy CURVERS, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN
  • DNF Fredrik LUDVIGSSON, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN
  • DNF Cameron MEYER, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Kristian SBARAGLI, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Nacer BOUHANNI, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Christophe LAPORTE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Geoffrey SOUPE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Antwan TOLHOEK, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON
  • DNF Evgeny SHALUNOV, GAZ
  • DNF Aleksey RYBALKIN, GAZ
  • DNF Igor BOEV, GAZ
  • DNF Maxime FARAZIJN, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Manuel BELLETTI, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA
  • DNF Cristian RODRIGUEZ MARTIN, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA
  • DNF Eugert ZHUPA, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA
  • DNF Jorge CUBERO GALVEZ, BUR
  • DNF Jon Ander INSAUSTI IRASTORZA, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS
  • DNF Daniel BICHLMANN, STRADALLI – BIKE AID
  • DNF Daniel LOPEZ PARADA, BUR
  • DNF Mirko TEDESCHI, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA
  • DNF Aitor GONZALEZ, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS

 

General classification

  • 1. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, MOVISTAR TEAM, in 17:41:10
  • 2. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :26
  • 3. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :52
  • 4. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :56
  • 5. Rafal MAJKA, TINKOFF, at 1:11
  • 6. Roman KREUZIGER, TINKOFF, at 1:37
  • 7. Wouter POELS, TEAM SKY, at 1:42
  • 8. Brent BOOKWALTER, BMC RACING TEAM, at 2:03
  • 9. Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 2:14
  • 10. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, TEAM SKY, at 2:45
  • 11. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 2:45
  • 12. Igor ANTON HERNANDEZ, DIMENSION DATA, at 2:57
  • 13. Bart DE CLERCQ, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 3:17
  • 14. Fabio FELLINE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 3:19
  • 15. Reto HOLLENSTEIN, IAM CYCLING, at 3:24
  • 16. Thomas DEGAND, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 4:07
  • 17. Sylvain CHAVANEL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 4:10
  • 18. Maxime MONFORT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 4:10
  • 19. Gianni MOSCON, TEAM SKY, at 4:29
  • 20. Louis VERVAEKE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 4:35
  • 21. Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ, DIMENSION DATA, at 4:46
  • 22. Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 4:47
  • 23. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 5:45
  • 24. Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO, BMC RACING TEAM, at 6:06
  • 25. Felix GROSSSCHARTNER, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 6:27
  • 26. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 6:38
  • 27. Jerome COPPEL, IAM CYCLING, at 6:42
  • 28. Lukasz OWSIAN, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 7:08
  • 29. Mathias FRANK, IAM CYCLING, at 7:33
  • 30. Eliot LIETAER, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 8:03
  • 31. Sam OOMEN, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 8:30
  • 32. Matteo BUSATO, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA, at 8:50
  • 33. Vasil KIRYIENKA, TEAM SKY, at 9:20
  • 34. Huub DUYN, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 9:51
  • 35. Riccardo ZOIDL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 9:54
  • 36. Javier MORENO BAZAN, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 10:21
  • 37. Sylwester SZMYD, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 10:22
  • 38. Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, BMC RACING TEAM, at 11:24
  • 39. Martin ELMIGER, IAM CYCLING, at 11:35
  • 40. Tobias LUDVIGSSON, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 11:37
  • 41. Jay MCCARTHY, TINKOFF, at 12:19
  • 42. Jelle VANENDERT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 12:28
  • 43. Fabricio FERRARI BARCELO, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 12:45
  • 44. Tomasz MARCZYNSKI, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 13:16
  • 45. Tosh VAN DER SANDE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 16:05
  • 46. Georg PREIDLER, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 16:20
  • 47. Jaime ROSON GARCIA, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 16:38
  • 48. Peter STETINA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 16:45
  • 49. Hugh CARTHY, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 17:29
  • 50. Ben HERMANS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 17:34
  • 51. Perrig QUEMENEUR, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 17:44
  • 52. Tim WELLENS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 17:46
  • 53. Sergey FIRSANOV, GAZ, at 17:49
  • 54. Ben SWIFT, TEAM SKY, at 17:51
  • 55. Nick VAN DER LIJKE, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 18:03
  • 56. Garikoitz BRAVO OIARBIDE, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS, at 18:18
  • 57. Tom DEVRIENDT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 18:24
  • 58. Ibai SALAS, BUR, at 18:38
  • 59. Antonio PIEDRA PEREZ, FUNVIC SOUL CYCLES – CARREFOUR, at 18:41
  • 60. Philippe GILBERT, BMC RACING TEAM, at 18:43
  • 61. Sergio PARDILLA BELLON, CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA, at 18:53
  • 62. Marcin MROZEK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 19:08
  • 63. Clement CHEVRIER, IAM CYCLING, at 21:03
  • 64. Imanol ERVITI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 21:21
  • 65. Nicolas ROCHE, TEAM SKY, at 21:39
  • 66. Enrico BATTAGLIN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 21:40
  • 67. Jose Vicente TORIBIO ALCOLEA, MATRIX POWERTAG, at 21:42
  • 68. Mikel ITURRIA SEGUROLA, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS, at 22:12
  • 69. Simon GESCHKE, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 22:36
  • 70. Maurits LAMMERTINK, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 23:10
  • 71. Rory SUTHERLAND, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 24:19
  • 72. Jérôme BAUGNIES, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 25:13
  • 73. Jan HIRT, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 26:10
  • 74. Manuele BOARO, TINKOFF, at 27:31
  • 75. Aritz Bagües, EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS, at 29:03
  • 76. Kevin VAN MELSEN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 29:10
  • 77. Leszek PLUCINSKI, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 29:38
  • 78. Damiano CARUSO, BMC RACING TEAM, at 30:32
  • 79. Maarten TJALLINGII, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 30:32
  • 80. Bertjan LINDEMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 31:11
  • 81. Damien GARCIA, STRADALLI – BIKE AID, at 44:16