The 125km fourth stage of Ruta del Sol from Villanueva Mesia to Granada was one for the climbers, with the 9km climb on Alto del Purche with an average gradient of 8%.
It was Jack Haig who put an attack in with 18km to go with Landa and Fugslang going with him. In the end, it proved Haig had the freshest legs and was able to cross the line in first, with Landa finishing third.
In the overall standings, Landa is still second with a 14″ gap from Fugslang on the eve of the final stage: a 13km individual time trial.
“Today the race has been fast and tough – said Mikel Landa – we tried to isolate Fuglsang on the El Purche climb with 25km to go, but we found a very strong contender again. Finally, I tried to win the stage, but I arrived with two riders faster than me, and so I finished third”.
“It was one of the last two chances to win this Ruta del Sol – said Matej Mohoric – and we had a strong team effort, but it didn’t work out. The team spirit is good, we have strong riders, and if we improve a little bit more I’m sure, the victories will come. Personally, I’m happy with my performance. I helped the team, and now I’m looking forward to my next races in Italy”.
“We did a really great job today – commented Sports Director Gorazd Stangelj – everything went as we planned just from the beginning joining the break with Sonny Colbrelli. We tried to attack the race leader on the last climb but Jakob was still the strongest man. We are happy that Mikel is feeling good and today he showed he is in good shape like all the team”.
(All pictures can be used for editorial and non commercial usages only and are copyright @Bettiniphoto @TeamBahrainMcLaren)
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