Chris Froome (Team Sky) sealed overall victory at the Ruta Del Sol by finishing safely in the bunch on the final stage on Sunday.
Juan José Lobato (Movistar) won the bunch sprint which, although uphill, was neither steep nor long enough to encourage Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) to attack and make up the two seconds needed to take victory away from Froome.
The result marks a winning start to the season for the Sky rider, and is also the first time he has got the better of his Spanish rival in an overall classification since the 2013 Tour de France.
The GC also makes good reading for the rest of Team Sky, with Mikel Nieve finishing fourth, Peter Kennaugh seventh and Kanstanstin Siutsou tenth. Splits at the end had meant that Nieve lost some time by fishing behind the lead group, but not enough to see him fall down the classification.
Credit: Chris Catchpole
In the sprint for the stage win, Lobato’s burst was so strong that he managed to open a gap over runner-up John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) of one second, while third place Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) finished a further second behind in third place.
Shortly beforehand it looked as though the race would not even come down to a sprint, after Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaandaren) had taken everyone by surprise by launching an attack as the road ramped up with one kilometre to go. His team had set-up the attack impressively by leading the bunch in the run-in to the finish, but the ploy didn’t quite work out as Lobato came charging past him in the final few hundred metres.
The break of the day consisted of Johnny Hoogerland (Roompot), Merhawi Kudus (MTN-Qhubeka) and Maciej Paterski (CCC-Sprandi-Polkowice). The trio lacked cohesion, eventually prompting Paterski to break clear alone, before he was finally caught with around five kilometres to go.
Ruta del Sol 2015, stage five
1 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar in 03-48-56
2 John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin at 0-01
3 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling at 0-02
4 Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi-Polkowice
5 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto-Soudal
6 Christopher Froome (Gbr) Team Sky
7 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Ag2r-La Mondiale
8 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo
9 Nicholas Edet (Fra) Cofidis
10 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert all st
Final overall classification
1. Christopher Froome (Gbr) Team Sky, in 17-32-16
2. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 2 seconds
3. Beñat Intxausti (Esp) Movistar, at 2-38
4. Mikel Nieve (Esp) Team Sky, at 3-05
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 3-13
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Stephen Puddicombe is a freelance journalist for Cycling Weekly, who regularly contributes to our World Tour racing coverage with race reports, news stories, interviews and features. Outside of cycling, he also enjoys writing about film and TV - but you won't find much of that content embedded into his CW articles.
British national champion to join WorldTour With Canyon-Sram
Alice Towers has penned a contract through to 2025
By Tom Davidson • Published
Dame Sarah Storey sets sights on non-disabled time trial slot at 2023 Glasgow World Champs
British legend believes she only needs to gain around 10 watts to be in contention