Jakob Fuglsang powers clear of Mikel Landa to take thrilling stage one of Ruta del Sol 2020

A brutal start to the Spanish stage race delivered an exciting finish

Jakob Fuglsang powered clear of Mikel Landa to take victory on his first race day of the year on stage one of the Ruta del Sol 2020.

Fuglsang (Astana) and Landa proved themselves the strongest of the bunch on the brutal final climb in Andalusia, delivering a fatal blow on the ascent and setting themselves up for a two-up battle for the stage on the short and sharp rise to the line.

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As the pair hit the steep, narrow and cobbled 600 metre climb to the finish, Fuglsang led his rival up to the 100m mark, launching his attack and easily pulling clear of Landa (Bahrain-McLaren) as the road ramped up.

Reigning Ruta del Sol champion Fuglsang takes the first leader’s jersey of the race with his dominant performance.

How it happened

Early-season racing continued in Spain’s southern Andalusia region with a daunting 173.8km run from Alhaurin de la Torre on the coast to Grazalema, in the foothills of the Sierra del Pina mountain range.

The stage featured five categorised climbs, all category three apart from the big first category climb, which ramped up in the final 20km.

After ranked climbs at kilometres 49, 69, 96 and 134, the peloton faced the fall 12km-wall to Puerto de las Palomas, which averaged around 6.5 per cent gradient.

But the summit of the climb was not the final, as the peloton then dropped down before a short uphill sprint for the line.

A group of 11 riders escaped the peloton in the early stages, including Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Kobe Goossens (Lotto-Soudal), and were allowed around a two-minute gap.

Attacks in the breakaway kicked off inside 50km, but the front group were reeled in at the foot of the Palomas climb, as Maurits Lammertink (Circus-Wanty Gobert) from the breakaway attacked on the slopes and held a slight advantage.

As Lammertink was caught on the climb, his team-mate Loic Vliegen fired his own move and managed to hold a 20-second advantage for a considerable amount of the climb.



The Belgian was reeled in with around 10km left to race as the peloton began to disappear under the strain.

First attacks from the favourites followed shortly after, with Mikel Landa and reigning champion Jakob Fuglsang hitting the front and getting their own gap.

Hitting the final few turns of the climb, Landa and Fuglsang had a 30-second advantage as they floated up the climb, with just 10 riders left to chase behind, and has they hit the descent they’d built the gap up to 53 seconds.

The lead pair hit the final cobbled climb with around 600m to the line well clear of their rivals, setting up the tense two-up dash for the line.

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Fuglsang led Landa along the narrow and rough street, the pair matching pedal strokes before Fuglsang upped the wattage and pulled clear with 100m to race.

Landa couldn’t respond, as Fuglsang crossed the line to take the stage and the leader’s jersey.

Ruta del Sol 2020, stage one  run from Alhaurin de la Torre  to Grazalema (173.8km)

1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, in 4-11-08
2. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren, at 6s
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren, at 25s
4. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, at 27s
5. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren, at same time
6. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Astana, at 30s
7. Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma, at 54s
8. David de la Cruz (Esp) UAE Team Emirates, at 1-03
9. Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at same time
10. Rubén Fernández (Esp) Fundación-Orbea, at 1-07

General classification after stage one

1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, in 4-11-08
2. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren, at 6s
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren, at 25s
4. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, at 27s
5. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren, at same time
6. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Astana, at 30s
7. Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma, at 54s
8. David de la Cruz (Esp) UAE Team Emirates, at 1-03
9. Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at same time
10. Rubén Fernández (Esp) Fundación-Orbea, at 1-07