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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