Froome seals Ruta title, Lobato takes final stage
Britain`s Chris Froome won the Ruta del Sol on Sunday as Spaniard Juan Jose Lobato claimed his second stage victory of the week.
Froome held a two-second advantage over major rival Alberto Contador and ensured he was in no danger by edging towards the front of the peloton on the sprint finish to end the 169.8km ride from Montilla to Alhaurin de la Torre.
The 2013 Tour de France winner finished sixth on the day with Contador just behind in ninth.
"It couldn`t have gone any better for us out here, and this win is special as it`s my first race of the season," said Froome.
"That said, I still have a lot to build on as we head towards the Tour de France. I want to stay on this path, staying healthy and injury-free, and gradually building my form."
Froome is expected to go head-to-head with Contador at the Tour de France after injury interrupted both men`s attempt to win the race last year.
However, unlike his rival, Contador, who announced his intention to retire at the end of 2016 season earlier this week, is also targeting victory at the Giro d`Italia in May.
"I didn`t expect to be in such good condition in relation to the rest of the field, although I lost by two seconds at the end.
"I also managed a victory (on stage three) which wasn`t in our plans. I am happy, the preparation towards the Giro is going perfectly."
Lobato was again the quickest man to the line in his home region of Andalusia after also winning the second stage on Thursday and with a stage victory at the Tour Down Under already under his belt this season.
The Movistar rider won in a time of 3hr 48min 56sec ahead of German John Degenkolb and France`s Sylvain Chavanel.
Lobato`s teammate Benat Intxausti took third in the general classification.