Ruta de Sol, stage 5: De la Cruz powers to ITT stage win, Wellens secures overall
David de la Cruz (Sky) won the final stage 14.2-kilometer individual time trial around Barbate at the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol, as Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) had enough gas left in the tank to defend his lead in the general classification and walk away with the overall title.
De la Cruz completed the course, which included a long section of compact dirt, in 17:11 to win the day by six seconds over Andrey Amador (Movistar). Stef Clement (LottoNL-Jumbo) finished third, seven seconds back.
“This morning I wanted to do the best I could do and I didn’t know if I could take the victory or not,” de la Cruz said. “I felt good warming up and I said to myself, ‘David, you must go full gas’ and it’s really nice to have my first win in Team Sky colors. You always expect the next rider finishing to record a faster time than you—it was a really nervous situation for an hour.
Wellens, who finished the stage over an hour after de la Cruz, finished eighth on the stage and won the overall title by eight seconds over former race leader Wout Poels (Sky). Poels completed the course three seconds faster than Wellens and finished sixth in the stage standings. However, it wasn’t enough to overhaul the 11-second deficit he began the day with.
Movistar’s Marc Soler started the day sitting sixth overall, but put in a good enough effort to sneak onto the podium. He finished fifth on the stage, nine seconds back of de la Cruz. He ends the race 27 seconds down on Wellens in the general classification. Soler’s teammate, Mikel Landa, had a tough day on the bike, as he finished outside the top 10 on the stage and slipped from second overall down to sixth.
“This was my first stage race after coming back from the Tour Down Under in Australia, and I’m really satisfied with the result,” Soler said. “I knew I was in good form, really willing to do well, but I’m still a bit surprised that I could beat all of my rivals for the GC podium.
“I’ve worked hard to improve on time trials, changing some minor details, and it seems like I’m on the right path. TTs have always suited my conditions — I’m a tall guy with good power for such efforts, even though I’m still lacking some raw technique that I hope to progress on, in order to make this a strong part of my abilities.
Stage 5, Top 10
- 1. David De La Cruz, TEAM SKY, in 17:11
- 2. Andrey Amador, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:06
- 3. Stef Clement, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 0:07
- 4. Alexis Gougeard, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 0:08
- 5. Marc Soler, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:09
- 6. Wout Poels, TEAM SKY, at 0:11
- 7. Dylan Van Baarle, TEAM SKY, at 0:12
- 8. Tim Wellens, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 0:14
- 9. Jan Tratnik, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 0:24
- 10. Luis Leon Sanchez, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:24
- 1. Tim Wellens, LOTTO SOUDAL, in 17:41:50
- 2. Wout Poels, TEAM SKY, at 0:08
- 3. Marc Soler, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:27
- 4. Jakob Fuglsang, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:30
- 5. Luis Leon Sanchez, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:30
- 6. Mikel Landa, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:42
- 7. Steven Kruijswijk, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 1:19
- 8. Simon Clarke, TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST-DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 1:41
- 9. Andrey Amador, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 1:51
- 10. Christopher Froome, TEAM SKY, at 1:57