Ethan Hayter beats Miguel Ángel López to stage victory and race lead in Ruta del Sol 2021

The British Ineos Grenadiers rider continues with his stellar form

Ethan Hayter wins stage two of the Ruta del Sol
Ethan Hayter wins stage two of the Ruta del Sol
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ethan Hayter took stage victory and the race lead one stage two of the Ruta del Sol, beating Grand Tour star Miguel Ángel López in the final 300 metres. 

The Brit was among the favourites on the brutally hilly stage in Andalucia, having shone in the Volta ao Algarve earlier this month.

Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) stuck with the best climbers on the 184.8km run from Iznájar to Alcalá la Real in the south of Spain, making it over the summit of the Alto de la Hortichuela with the race favourites and attacking on the sharp final rise to the line to take the stage. 

The 22-year-old finished eight seconds ahead of Miguel Ángel López (Movistar) and taking over the race lead from Lopez’s team-mate Gonzalo Serrano. 

Hayter now leads the race by 11-seconds over López. 

The brutal second stage of the Ruta del Sol, also known as the Vuelta a Andalucia, featured four categorised climbs, the last of which, the Hortichuela, the peloton crested 10km from the finish.

Into the final kilometre riders then had to tackle a stiff 11.5 per cent climb top the line, well-suited to a punchy rider like Hayter. 

With three stages remaining, Hayter will be motivated to fight for overall victory after a bittersweet week of racing in Algarve earlier this month.

After winning the second stage in Portugal, Hayter was narrowly able to maintain his race lead despite crashing on the stage four time trial in Lagoa, with just one stage remaining.

But on the final stage Hayter lost around 10 seconds, losing the race lead to João Rodrigues (W52/FC Porto), with the former forced to settle for second place overall.   

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Ruta del Sol continues with another relentless day of climbing on stage three, culminating in an uphill finish on the Villarrodrigo ascent.