He hit counter for Tadej Pogacar, who any day he will go crazy with stress because he is 49 with 24 yearswas able to rest today on the Ruta del Sol. After raising his arms in the three days of competition this year (Clásica Jaén and two first stages of the Vuelta a Andalucía), the predator, who remains the leader, was not the protagonist in Alcalá de los Gazules. But his teammate in the UAE Tim Wellens, who took the victory from a large escape of 22 cyclists that formed as soon as the stage started (160 km) in Alcalá de Guadaira.
Pogacar had announced in the preview that his team would try “to have as relaxed a day as possible so as not to expend too much energy” but this one was made hard by the wind. AND ended with the seventh victory of the season for the UAE, the 35th in the career of Wellens (31 years old) who, coming from the Lotto, He aims to be one of the fundamental supports for the Slovenian against Jonas Vingegaard in the Reconquest Tour.
In a day with two third-class climbs (the last one was the finish line), the breakaway of 22 was formed with illustrious people such as Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar), Connor Swift (Ineos), much modest in search of fortune and Wellens himself. The Belgian, old dog, he waited for the last question that gave access to the finish line (with ramps of up to 18%), aware of the hardness because he won right there in 2018the year that also took the general of the Ruta del Sol. With pedal strokes that seemed like hacks, he hunted José Manuel Díaz (Burgos BH), Hugo Houle and Samuele Batistella (Astana) and headed alone towards the banner.
behind, a Ineos with Carlos Rodríguez fourth overall (52 seconds away) tensed the group on the wild slopes that gave access to the town of Cádiz. But Pogacar, who seems to have plenty of watts to give away, took the lead of the pack and did not give up for a second. One more day, he came in whistling.
Tomorrow’s session (Olvera-Iznájar, 164 km) promises not to be calm. Starting at km 80, a leg-breaker will be faced with two third-class climbs and one second-class climb. If someone wants to put Pogacar in check, they will have to try. But it won’t be easy. The UAE seems ubiquitous.
1. Tim Wellens (UAE / Bel), 3:47.12
2. Pierre Latour (Total Energies / Fra), at 00:14
3. Samuele Battistella (Astana / Ita), at 00:15
4. Connor Swift (Ineos/GBR), mt
5. Gorka Izagirre (Movistar, Esp), at 00:28
1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE / Esl), 12:35:57
2. Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain / Col), at 00:48
3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain / Esp), at 00:52
4. Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos / Esp), mt
5. Enric Mas (Movistar, Esp), at 1:47.