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Hivert wins del Sol stage ahead of race-leading Valverde

Frenchman tops the GC favorites in Andalucía

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MADRID (AFP) — Frenchman Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) won the first stage of the Vuelta Andalucía Ruta Ciclista del Sol (Tour of Andalusia) in Spain on Monday, a 164km ride from San Fernando to Ubrique.

The 27-year-old, winner of France’s first professional race of the season, the Etoile de Besseges in early February, prevailed in a
sprint finish ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Bauke Mollema (Blanco).

Valverde, who won Sunday’s prologue, retained the overall lead, holding a seven-second advantage over Belgium’s Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol). Mollema is a further four seconds back.

Hivert is eighth overall, 25 seconds adrift.

The Ruta del Sol continues Tuesday with the 194km second stage Trebujena to Montilla.