A breakaway win on the Ruta del Sol opening day

A breakaway win on the Ruta del Sol opening day

The 68th edition of the Spanish race got underway Wednesday with the longest stage of the week, 200.7 kilometers from Ubrique to Iznajar. On the menu, three classified climbs – Puerto de el Boyar, Puerto de Algamitas and Alto La Parilla – but this demanding course didn’t stop eight riders from breaking away right after the start and put a stunning 15 minutes between them and a peloton which began reacting way too late to really have a chance of fighting for victory.

On the last ascent, a 7.8km one averaging 3.3%, all that the chasers could do was reduce the gap to two minutes, but despite the punchy finish awaiting outside Iznajar, it was enough of a buffer for the escapees to battle for the win and the race’s first leader’s jersey, which went to Rune Herregodts (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

Behind them, with around 800 meters to go, Florian Sénéchal attacked and stretched out the field. Racing for the second time this season, the Frenchman opened a small gap but his valiant action was a short-lived one, as the peloton raised the tempo and caught him. The group arrived more than half a minute behind the winner, and our young Belgian Mauri Vansevenant finished in 13th position – a result that augurs well ahead of the next stages.

 

Photo credit: ©Bas Czerwinski / Getty Images

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