Ruta del Sol: Alejandro Valverde seals overall victory as Moreno Hofland wins stage four

Last Updated: 23/02/14 9:37pm

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Alejandro Valverde won the Ruta del Sol for the third consecutive year

Alejandro Valverde won the Ruta del Sol for the third consecutive year

Alejandro Valverde sealed his third consecutive victory at the Ruta del Sol in Spain as the Netherlands' Moreno Hofland sprinted to victory on the final stage.

Valverde (Movistar) took a 20-second lead into the concluding day of the race and extended that by another 11 seconds after taking advantage of a late split in the peloton.

Richie Porte (Team Sky) finished second overall, with Luis Leon Sanchez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) rounding out the final podium a further two seconds back.

Hofland (Belkin) prevailed on the day after following a surprise breakaway by the Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise team with 1.8km to go.

The Belgian outfit injected a sudden burst of speed on a technical run in to the finish in Fuengirola and quickly distanced their rival sprint trains.

Hofland was alert to the move though, and after receiving a free ride to the last 300m, he launched his sprint and comfortably beat Nikias Ardnt (Giant-Shimano) into second and Kenneth Vanbilsen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) into third.

Other parts of the peloton further back also fractured and, having been positioned at the head of the bunch, Valverde was able to capitalise and put more time into his rivals as he underlined his recent dominance of the race.

Britain's Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) finished 11th overall, 1min 30sec down on Valverde, while compatriot and team-mate Sir Bradley Wiggins came 71st, 17min 4sec back.

- Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) completed overall victory at the Tour du Haut Var in France. The Colombian, who won stage one, finished second on stage two behind winner Amael Moinard (BMC).

Stage four result

1 Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin, 4:09:53
2 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Shimano, same time
3 Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, st
4 Tom van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, +1sec
5 Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, st
6 Davide Vigano (Ita) CajaRural-Seguros RGA, st
7 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky, st
8 Jon Izagirre (Spa) Movistar, st
9 Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) Etixx, st
10 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, st
Selected others
16 Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky, st
100 Sir Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, +47

Final general classification

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, 18:47:45
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky, +31secs
3 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, +33
4 Jon Izagirre (Spa) Movistar, same time
5 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana, +43
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin, +55
7 Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, +1:02
8 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, +1:06
9 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana, +1:13
10 Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, +1:24
Selected others
11 Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky, +1:30
71 Sir Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, +17:04

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Ruta del Sol 2014

Gerald Ciolek, left, prevailed in a photo finish

Ciolek wins at Ruta del Sol

Gerald Ciolek won stage three of the Ruta del Sol as Alejandro Valverde retained his overall lead.

Alejandro Valverde extended his overall lead to 20 seconds

Three from three for Valverde

Alejandro Valverde made it three wins from three at the Ruta del Sol with victory on stage two.

Alejandro Valverde extended his lead to 19 seconds

Valverde extends lead in Spain

Alejandro Valverde extended his overall lead of the Ruta del Sol by climbing to victory on stage one.

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