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by Matt de Neef
February 19, 2018
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Alexey Lutsenko wins the Tour of Oman; Tim Wellens secures the overall at Ruta del Sol; Michal Kwiatkowski takes out the Volta ao Algarve; Jonathan Hivert wins both stages and overall at Haut Var Matin; Mathieu van der Poel and Sanne Cant take Superprestige wins in Middelkerke; Riders critical of Froome’s appearance at the Ruta del Sol.
Tim Wellens’ impressive start to the season has continued with the Lotto Soudal rider taking out overall honours at the Ruta del Sol.
On the steep uphill finish to stage 4 Wellens got clear with Mikel Landa (Movistar) before breaking clear in the closing metres to take the stage win. That saw the Belgian move into the overall lead with one stage remaining.
The race’s final stage was an individual time trial which Wellens began with a seven-second lead over Landa. Wellens would finish the 14.2km effort in eighth place, 14 seconds behind stage winner David de la Cruz (Sky). In doing so Wellens ensured he would take his first stage race victory of the 2018 season.
“During the recon I had already noticed this was a course that suited me,” Wellens said of the final-stage time trial which featured some gravel. “The first part was special because of the off-road sections and in the second part there was a fast, downhill section.
“Of course this is great, after winning at Challenge Mallorca. But the main goals still have to come. The next days I will take some rest, with a good training on Wednesday, and Thursday I will travel to Belgium to join the team for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. It will be a nice début, with nothing to lose. The shape is good, so we’ll see what’s possible. After the Omloop I’ll ride Paris-Nice.”