André Greipel takes second win of the season on stage four of the Ruta del Sol 2021

The German sprinter took his first win since early 2019 just a few days ago in Mallorca

André Greipel wins stage four of the Ruta del Sol 2021
(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

André Greipel came out on top in the bunch sprint on stage four of the Ruta del Sol 2021 beating Álvaro Hodeg and Mads Pedersen to the line.

Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) was the fastest after a great lead out by fellow German, Rick Zabel to finish ahead of Hodeg (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) and Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo).

It was the German sprinter's second win of the season after taking his first just a week ago at the Trofeo Alcudia in the final race of the Challenge Mallorca series. He had not won since a stage in the Gabon race La Tropicale Amissa Bongo back in January of 2019.

But Greipel didn't get to go up against all the sprinters who started as Mark Cavendish had to abandon the race due to stomach issues on his birthday. Cavendish had been looking like his old self in the Tour of Turkey where he took four stage wins but he has struggled in the Spanish race.

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The stage took place over 182.9km of undulating terrain between the towns of Baza and Cúllar Vega in southern Spain. But the day kicked off with a delayed start as the riders protested about unsafe roads and long transfers between stages with the CPA posting a statement about the reasons for the strike.

The race organiser later released a statement saying that teams already knew about the conditions of the roads and length of transfers and didn't choose to complain. It also reminded the riders that the race is still operating during the pandemic.

It was an uneventful stage for the riders in the overall fight though as Miguel Ángel López (Astana-Premier Tech) held onto his lead of 20 seconds over Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma).

There were some gaps in the peloton meaning some riders shuffled about in the overall standings, including stage two winner Ethan Hayter moving up to eighth overall.

The fifth and final stage should be yet another sprinters' stage as all the climbing days were right at the start of the race, oddly. But stage five starts in Vera and finishes after 107km in Pulpí.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.