On an 18 percent slope just outside of 1km to go, Gonzalo Serrano (Caja Rural – Seguros) launched the winning move from a group which included Jack Haig (Mitchelton – Scott), Jakob Fulgsang (Astana Pro Team), Mikel Landa (Bahrain – McLaren), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain – McLaren) and Marc Soler (Movistar), to claim stage 2 of the Ruta del Sol.
This is Serrano’s most notable victory.
Fuglsang keeps the leader’s jersey, finishing just four seconds back of Serrano.
“I am happy that we were able to defend the jersey, cause today’s stage was really a tough one. I want to thank my teammates, for their effort. They pulled hard the whole day and approaching the last climb they brought me into a good position.”
With a time bonus for a third-place finish, Dylan Teuns takes back two seconds on the general classification.
Over three categorized climbs — the the first two ascents coming after 50km — the route traveled another 70km before turning up again, with 13km to go.
Knowing that the final 1,300m would be on a very steep grade and likely to bring the bunch back together, the peloton let a group of five escapees establish a four-minute lead.
But by the final categorized climb, the break was neutralized.
A counter attack of two men, which included American Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates), was attempted, however this move was unsuccessful, as it too was reeled on the 5km descent.
Into the final punchy climb, Serrano laid down a massive effort, and created the gap allowing the Spaniard to win the stage.
Friday’s stage 3 presents riders with climbing: two category 1 climbs, two category 2 climbs, and a single category 3 climb over 179km, as the route heads from Jaén to Umbeda.
1. Gonzalo Serrano (Caja Rural – Seguros): 5:07:49
2. Juan José Lobato (Fundación – Orbea): + 0:02
3. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain – McLaren): S.T.
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team): 9:49:01
2. Mikel Landa (Bahrain – McLaren): at 0:06
3. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain – McLaren): at 0:23