Stage 4 of the Ruta del Sol would be a 21km individual time trial which Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) would win ahead of Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Jerome Coppel (IAM Cycling).
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka did not necessarily have a specialist who could contend for the victory today but Kanstantsin Siutsou and Omar Fraile definitely gave the course a good crack, hoping to limit their time loss ahead of tomorrow’s all important Mountaintop finish stage.
Unfortunately, Siutsou, who was looking to be on a really good run, hit the deck during his time trial effort and would lose a good chunk of time but still managed to be our highest placed finisher. Our Belorussian stopped the clock in a time of 28’38”. Fraile was a bit further back, crossing the line with a time of 29’01”. The rest of our African Team riders all got around the course safely. As Van Garderen posted a super quick time of 27’05”, this leaves our African Team riders all over a minute off the race lead.
Tomorrow’s final stage is a mountainous 164km, that includes 5 categorised climbs. The final climb being a cat 1 climb to the summit finish in Penas Blancas. Our African Team riders will look to take advantage of the time between themselves and the overall race lead to mount a real challenge for the stage victory.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
There was not much for us to gain today but we did what we could. Tomorrow is the real Queen stage though and the organisers have changed the course which will make it even harder than it was originally. We are looking forward to the stage but Siutsou crashed today so we are unsure of how he will be performing tomorrow.