Rogers completes Andalucia win

Eurosport - Thu, 25 Feb 17:45:00 2010

Michael Rogers sealed overall victory in the Vuelta Andalucia, Ruta del Sol with a third place finish in the final stage which was won by Francisco Ventoso.

The Australian Team HTC-Columbia rider stayed within a high quality 30-man peloton who negotiated a tough 161.4km final stage from Torrox to Antequera.

The race had a category one climb 46km before the finish and Ventoso (Carmiooro NGC) was the only known sprinter who survived that climb's cull and that allowed him to outsprint Simon Gerrans (Team Sky) at the finish.

Rogers though took the overall win with Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Sergio Pardilla Bellón (Carmiooro NGC) completing the podium.

STAGE FOUR

Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins had to settle for second place in the 10.9km time trial around Malaga at the Vuelta Andalucia Ruta del Sol but a fourth place finish was enough to give Michael Rogers the General Classification lead.

It was track specialist Alex Rasmussen (Saxo Bank) who won the fourth stage as he showed encouraging form ahead of the upcoming World Track Championships which takes place in his homeland of Denmark in late March.

Rasmussen was five seconds ahead of Wiggins, with Germany's Tony Martin (Team HTC - Columbia) a further two seconds back in third.

Rogers was the big the winner of the day though as he rocketed up to first overall and he now has a 19 second lead from Omega Pharma-Lotto's Jurgen Van den Broeck.

Previous leader Sergio Pardilla (Carmiooro NGC) held onto a podium spot by just one second from Saxo Bank's Jens Voigt.

The fifth and final stage of the race takes place on Thursday as the riders make the 161.4km trek from Torrox to Antequera.

STAGE THREE

Oscar Freire won a second sprint in succession on stage three of the Vuelta a Andalucia between Marbella and Benahavis.

Spanish Rabobank rider Freire triumphed despite heavy rain and winds on the hilly 162.5km course, which ended with a difficult 6km climb.

Slovenian Greca Bole (Lampre) was second just ahead of Team Sky's Simon Gerrans.

"Greg Henderson said this wasn't a day for him, so he was working for Gerrans," Sky sports director Sean Yates said.

"We knew there was a headwind, we knew there were speed bumps and it was uphill, so we went for it with Simon. But Freire proved too strong today."

Carmiooro's Sergio Pardilla remains the overall leader ahead of the 10km time trial in Malaga on Wednesday, stage four of five.

STAGE TWO

Oscar Freire of Rabobank won a crash-strewn bunch sprint on the second stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia with Briton Mark Cavendish crossing the line fourth.

Spaniard Freire just edged out Skil-Shimano's Robert Wagner after the German pulled up early, raising his arms in expectation of victory.

Dane Alex Rasmussen (Saxo Bank) was third ahead of Cavendish - commencing his season in the five-stage race - on the 182.2km run from Otura to Cordoba.

There was less rain than during the opening stage but the Cordoba roads were still greasy, leading to the smash 250 metres from the finish on a sharp chicane.

Francisco Ventoso (Andalucia-CajaSur) was fifth, with Team Sky's Greg Henderson behind him.

Carmiooro's Sergio Pardilla remains top of the General Classification.

STAGE ONE

Spain's Sergio Pardilla of Carmioora-NGC won a weather-lashed opening stage of the five-stage Vuelta a Andalucia while Briton Mark Cavendish opened his season as a team helper.

Pardilla successfully attacked on the difficult seven-kilometre final climb of the 159.2km run from Jaen to La Guardia de Jaen.

Second was Juergen van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) with Damiano Cunego (Lampre) third.

Manxman Cavendish of HTC-Columbia worked tirelessly for team-mates Mick Rogers and Maxime Monfort in torrential rain and gale-force winds, coming home 86th, eight minutes off the pace.

Britain's Steve Cummings of Team Sky finished 20th, a minute 14 seconds off the pace, while his team-mate and countryman Bradley Wiggins was 71st.

Monday's stage two from Otura to Cordoba runs a far flatter course.

Eurosport

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