Wielinga Wins Stage 4 of Ruta del Sol
Remmert Wielinga (Rabobank) has won Stage 4 of the Ruta del Sol. The Dutch rider dispatched breakaway companions Joaquin Rodriguez (ONCE) and Ivan Parra (Kelme) to win the rolling, 174.0-km ride from Cabra to Jaen in 4:41:45. Stage 3 winner Juan Pascual Llorente (Kelme) remains the overall leader.
The pace was slow. Seventeen riders escaped between km 12 and km 30. Kelme rode tempo at the front, but only to keep the break in check. With 20 km left, Telekom and Rabobank took over to set things up for Erik Zabel and Oscar Freire, respectively, but they need not have bothered. The break of the day was long gone.
Wielinga, Rodriguez, and Parra fought out the sprint. Parra led it out, but Wielinga came around him and took Rodriguez with him. Wielinga's victory was Rabobank's third of the race. (Oscar Freire won the first two stages for the Dutch squad.)
In the overall, Javier Pascual Llorente (Kelme) leads Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) by 0:08 and Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Kelme) by 0:09. Llorente is poised to win the Ruta del Sol, which he should do after tomorrow's fifth and final stage. The 178-km run from Granada to Benalmadena features four Category 3 and two Category 2 climbs, but no ascents that will allow a successful challenge to Llorente. Who will win the stage? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!