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Ruta del Sol: Maxim Van Gils takes overall victory in time trial at disrupted stage race

Maxim Van Gils (Lotto Dstny) was a surprise winner of the 4.9 km time trial stage at the disrupted Ruta del Sol Vuelta Ciclista Andalucía, stopping the clock in a time of 8:17.

The Spanish race should have been a five-day event, with hilly racing in the hills of southern Spain. However, the farmer protests have blocked roads and disrupted traffic in Spain and across Europe, derailing this year’s race.

Local police had to manage traffic and public order at the farmer protests, meaning they were no longer available for a similar role at the Ruta del Sol. Without police support, race safety could not be guaranteed and so the organisers were forced to first cancel the opening two stages, then the weekend stages too. Only the time trial survived.

Van Gils was making his 2024 season debut but is clearly on form and finished ten seconds ahead of his rivals. Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) was second in 8:27, just a few hundredths of a second ahead of Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain Victorious).

Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Dstny) started last and was the expected favourite but he suffered during the course and especially on the climb to the line, finishing out of the top ten.


SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
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