Chris Froome seals Ruta del Sol victory as Juan Jose Lobato wins final stage
Last Updated: 22/02/15 4:14pm
Team Sky's Chris Froome sealed overall victory at the Ruta del Sol in Spain after finishing just ahead of Alberto Contador in the peloton on the fifth and final stage, which was won by Juan Jose Lobato.
Froome took a two-second lead into the last day and safely defended that margin by crossing the line in an impressive sixth place on the short uphill sprint to Alhaurin de la Torre.
Contador finished in ninth to consolidate second place overall, while fellow Spaniard Benat Intxausti held on to third, 2min 32sec down on Froome.
Movistar rider Lobato claimed his second stage win of the race and third of the season with a perfectly time burst to beat John Degenkolb into second place by one second and Sylvain Chavanel into third by two seconds.
Froome, whose victory was his first in a stage race since last May's Tour de Romandie, tweeted afterwards: "So happy & relieved to have held onto this jersey today! Great start to the year.. thank you team."
Although the stage looked set to end in a sprint, the steep 1km climb to the finish offered potential for splits and Froome consequently had to stay vigilant to protect his slender lead over Contador.
Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise's Edward Theuns launched an attack at the foot of the climb and although he built up a healthy gap, he was powerless to resist a brilliant surge from the in-form Lobato that even Degenkolb had no answer to.
Froome stayed right up at the head of the race and, with the pace so frantic, Contador had no chance of stealing a march on the Briton.
Stage five result
1 Juan Jose Lobato (Esp) Movistar, 3:48:56
2 John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin, +1sec
3 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling, +2
4 Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice, same time
5 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal, st
6 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, st
7 Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, st
8 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
9 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, st
10 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, st
Final general classification
1 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, 21:21:41
2 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, +2secs
3 Benat Intxausti (Esp) Movistar, +2:11
4 Mikel Nieve (Esp) Team Sky, +3:05
5 Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +3:13
6 Peter Kennaugh (GB) Team Sky, +4:03
7 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, +5:10
8 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky, +5:17
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling, +5:30
10 Sergio Pardilla (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, +5:50