Ruta del Sol 2016: Alejandro Valverde wins stage 5 and GC, Van Garderen 2nd, Mollema 3rd

At 170 kilometres, the last stage in the Ruta del Sol did detonate the fireworks big time with Alejandro Valverde powering to the win on the 14.5 kilometres closing climb at 6.6%. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results stage 5 Ruta del Sol

1. Alejandro Valverde (spa)
2. Bauke Mollema (nld) + 0.36
3. Rafal Majka (pol) + 0.42
4. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 0.48
5. Roman Kreuziger (cze) + 1.07
6. Daniel Navarro (spa)+ 1.08
7. Wilco Kelderman(nld) + 1.16
8. Igor Anton (spa) + 1.19
9. Mikel Nieve (spa) + 1.27
10. Luis Ángel Maté (spa) + 1.30

GC after stage 5
1. Alejandro Valverde (spa)
2. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 0.26
3. Bauke Mollema (nld) + 0.52
4. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 0.56
5. Rafal Majka (pol) + 1.11
6. Roman Kreuziger (cze) + 1.37
7. Wout Poels (nld) + 1.42
8. Brent Bookwalter (usa) + 2.03
9. Daniel Navarro (spa) + 2.14
10. Mikel Nieve (spa) + 2.45

Race report
It doesn’t take long for 13 riders to break clear: Swift, Boaro, Lobato, Van der Sande, Curvers, Grellier, Bouhanni, Lemoine, Tolhoek, Baugnies, Pozzato, Gari Bravo and Estevez. Their lead never exceeds 1 minute and they are brought back.

Another break of 11 riders has an even shorter shelf life. Then Tim Wellens, Ruben Fernández and Simon Geschke give it a go. With 75 kms left they enjoy a 1’20” lead.

Wellens is in a hurry. The 24-year old Belgian goes solo and with around 35 kms he is accompanied by Nicholas Roche and Jerome Baugnies. The trio races to the foot of the closing climb and there they are caught.

With 7 kms left Valverde attacks and one more km up the mountain he is the virtual leader, being 0’22” ahead of the Van Garderen group. At 4 kms under the top he is 1 minute ahead of his chasers and on he goes. The 35-year old powers to the stage win and takes the GC while he is at it, despite Van Garderen reacting with 3 kms left.

Majka and Mollema take the wheel of the American with the Dutchman attacking in the last 2 kms and heading for second place in the Queen Stage and third overall. Van Garderen finishes second in the Ruta del Sol 2016.

Ruta del Sol 2016 stage 5: Height profiles, route maps, and more

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Alejandro Valverde

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