Ruta del Sol 2016: Sprint victory Gatto in stage 3, Ben Swift new leader

At 158 kilometres, stage 3 in the Ruta del Sol leads over four mountain tops to arrival place El Padul. With two escapees being caught in the last kilometre the race boils down to a sprint of a decimated pack with Oscar Gatto fastest. Ben Swift is the new leader. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results stage 3 Ruta del Sol

1. Oscar Gatto (ita)
2. Ben Swift (gbr) s.t.
3. Raymond Kreder (spa) s.t.
4. Tim Wellens (bel) s.t.
5. Fabio Felline (ita) s.t.
6. Brent Bookwalter (usa) s.t.
7. Simon Geschke (ger) s.t.
8. Philippe Gilbert (bel) s.t.
9. Reto Hollenstein (swi) s.t.
10. Matteo Busato (ita) s.t.

GC after stage 3
1. Ben Swift (gbr)
2. Raymond Kreder (nld) s.t.
3. Reto Hollenstein (swi) s.t.
4. Philippe Gilbert (bel) s.t.
5. Fabio Felline (ita) s.t.
6. Wout Poels (nld) ss.t.
7. Simon Geschke (ger) s.t.
8. Alejandro Valverde (spa) s.t.
9. Matteo Busato (ita) s.t.
10. Wilco Kelderman (nld) s.t.

Race report
Following a turbulent opening of the race, with riders getting on and of the front group, seven riders persevere. After cresting both the Puerto del Lucero and the Puerto Bermejales Lindeman, Boaro, Irizar, Caruso, Firsanov, Carthy and Mrozek enjoy their maximum lead over the peloton: 4 minutes.

With 25 kms left the escapees are reeled in, just before the lower slopes of the last climb. The Puerto del Valle is blessed with steepest sectors at 20% and after Movistar has set the pace for a while Daniel Navarro attacks. Around 40 riders are chasing, the rest is dropped. Omar Fraile escapes and tries to bridge the gap to the leader.

With 8 kms left Fraile joins Navarro, while the chasers are 17 seconds down. In the last kilometre the two are caught by a Tinkoff-fueled peloton. Oscar Gatto completes the work of his teammates and he sprints to victory. Ben Swift, who arrives second, is the new leader.

Ruta del Sol 2016 stage 3: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Oscar Gatto

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