Ruta del Sol 2018: Wellens bests Landa at steep cobbled climb to take lead

At almost 200 kilometres, stage 4 at the Ruta del Sol travels from Seville to Alcalá de los Gazules. The race ends at a punchy ascent with stretches of pavé and steepest ramps of 18%. Landa and Wellens attack shortly after the base of the climb, while the Flemish riders goes alone on the cobbles to the line, thus taking the stage win and the GC-lead. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 4th stage 2018 Ruta del Sol

1. Tim Wellens (bel)
2. Mikel Landa (spa) + 0.05
3. Jakob Fuglsang (den) + 0.12
4. Wout Poels (nld) + 0.13
5. Floris De Tier (bel) s.t.
6. Marc Soler (spa) + 0.17
7. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 0.20
8. Luis León Sánchez (spa) s.t.
9. Simon Clarke (aus) + 0.21
10. Andrea Pasqualon (ita) + 0.24

GC after the 4th stage
1. Tim Wellens (bel)
2. Mikel Landa (spa) + 0.07
3. Wout Poels (nld) + 0.11
4. Jakob Fuglsang (den) + 0.14
5. Luis León Sánchez (spa) + 0.20
6. Marc Soler (spa) + 0.32
7. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 0.58
8. Simon Clarke (aus) + 1.05
9. Mikel Bizkarra (spa) + 1.14
10. Sergio Pardilla (spa) + 1.24

Race report
Following a fast start – 49.6 kph in the first hour – eleven riders open up a gap at km 55. They race to a lead of 2 minutes, while team-mates Marco Minnaard and Guillaume Martin pull away from the break on the Puerto de las Palomas.

On the next climb, the Boyar, Andrey Amador, Hector Carretero and Sep Vanmarcke, chase the two leaders down and leave them behind. Carretero can’t follow the pace and the other two race to a lead of mora than 2 minutes. But when they hit the finale haul up to the line they are brought back.

Landa en Wellens are going clear at the foot and open a gap. Fuglsang and De Tier try to come across, but to no avail. And where is leader Poels? The Spanish/Flemish duo powers on and following a short dip on asphalt the climb continues on steep cobbles. Wellens accelerates, Landa falls short, so the Flemish rider takes the win. Landa comes in second at 5 seconds, while leader Poels re-found his mojo to finish in fourth at 13 seconds, 1 second behind Fuglsang.

Ruta del Sol 2018 stage 4: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Tim Wellens

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