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Dekker crowned Sun King

Dutch cycling ace Erik Dekker won the Ruta del Sol race here on Thursday, easily retaining his lead during the 171km fifth and final stage, which was taken by Spaniard Mickel Artetxe. Dekker, 29, who won three stages in last year's Tour de France, was never troubled by his main challengers on Thursday letting a group of riders, who were not going to challenge for the overall lead, slip away to share out the finish. Dekker first took over the race lead on Monday, when he finished second in stage 2, the 178.5km ride from Sevilla to the mountain finish of Santuario de Nuestra Senora de

By VeloNews Interactive

Winner: Dekker led from stage 2 on.

Winner: Dekker led from stage 2 on.

Photo: Graham Watson

Dutch cycling ace Erik Dekker won the Ruta del Sol race here on Thursday, easily retaining his lead during the 171km fifth and final stage, which was taken by Spaniard Mickel Artetxe.

Dekker, 29, who won three stages in last year’s Tour de France, was never troubled by his main challengers on Thursday letting a group of riders, who were not going to challenge for the overall lead, slip away to share out the finish.

Good and bad: American Fred Rodriguez was ninth in the final stage but 101st in the overall.

Good and bad: American Fred Rodriguez was ninth in the final stage but 101st in the overall.

Photo: Graham Watson

Dekker first took over the race lead on Monday, when he finished second in stage 2, the 178.5km ride from Sevilla to the mountain finish of Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Araceli.

“I am very happy with this win,” said the Rabobank rider. “I was sick throughout the whole of January and my form has returned out of the blue. Now I am going to get ready for the Spring classics and then take a break till the Tour de France.”

AFP Copyright 2001

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Results

Ruta del Sol, Spain
February 18-22, 2001
Stage 5: Humilladero to Granada

Results
1. Mikel Artetxe (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, 171km in 4:07:12
2. Felix M Garcia (Sp) Festina, same time
3. Dave Bruylandts (B) Domo-Farm Frites, same time
4. Pietro Caucchioli (I) Alessio, same time
5. Manuel Beltran (Sp) Mapei-Quick Step, same time
6. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) Lotto-Adecco, @:36
7. Fabrizio Guidi (I) Mercury-Viatel, same time
8. Fabian De Waele (B) Lotto-Adecco, same time
9. Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites, same time
10. Carlos Ramon Golbano (Sp) Jazztel-Costa Almeria, same time
Others
22. Mike Sayers (USA) Mercury-Viatel, same time
23. Erik Dekker (Nl) Rabobank, same time
40. Floyd Landis (USA) Mercury-Viatel, same time
61. Tyler Hamilton (USA) US Postal Service, same time
90. Levy Leipheimer (USA) US Postal Service, same time
91. Antonio Cruz (USA) US Postal Service, same time
93. David Zabriskie (USA) US Postal Service, same time

Final general classification

1. Erik Dekker (Nl) Rabobank, 22:09:32
2. Marc Wauters (B) Rabobank, @:06
3. Aleksandr Sheffr (Kaz) Alessio, @:09
4. Andrei Tchmil (B) Lotto-Adecco, @:12
5. Jan Schaffrath (G) Team Telekom, @:21
6. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) Lotto-Adecco, @1:12
7. Pietro Caucchioli (I) Alessio, @2:05
8. Felix M Garcia (Sp) Festina, @2:11
9. Wilfried Peeters (B) Domo-Farm Frites, @2:18
10. Johan Museeuw (B) Domo-Farm Frites, @2:23
13. Floyd Landis (USA) Mercury-Viatel, @2:40
77. Mike Sayers (USA) Mercury-Viatel, @24:50
88. David Zabriskie (USA) US Postal Service, @30:47
92. Antonio Cruz (USA) US Postal Service, @33:04
99. Levy Leipheimer (USA) US Postal Service, @40:53
101. Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites, @45:06
102. Tyler Hamilton (USA) US Postal Service, @49:15