Fabio Aru (Astana) claimed his first grand tour title when the Italian retained the overall leader's red jersey on the Vuelta a Espana after John Degenkolb won a bunch sprint in the 21st and last stage in Madrid.
Gian-Alpecin's Degenkolb beat Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory) and Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing).
They were 158 riders at the start in Alcara de Henares at 17:42.
The Movistar-led peloton entered...read more
Newsflashes (Local time)
Results at Madrid (stage 21):
1. John Degenkolb (Giant - Alpecin)
2. Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory)
3. Jempy Drucker (BMC)
4. Daryl Impey (Orica - Greenedge)
5. Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal)
John Degenkolb (Giant - Alpecin) grabs a prestigious win at Madrid!
|20:13||3 km to go|
Orica - Greenedge lead the peloton on the way to the bunch sprint.
Alexis Gougeard (AG2R - La Mondiale) is caught with 4 km to go, Geraint Thomas tries to attack but MTN - Qhubeka reacts.
It's over for Keisse, Gougeard is now alone in the lead with 5 km to go.
Alexis Gougeard (AG2R - La Mondiale) tries to break off the peloton led by Tom Dumoulin (Giant - Alpecin) 8 seconds behind Iljo Keisse (Etixx - Quick Step)!
Iljo Keisse (Etixx - Quick Step) is alone in the lead with less than 10 km to go.
Craeful, he won the last stage of the Giro d'Italia this year!
Jimmy Engoulvent (Europcar), a strong rouleur, breaks off the peloton to join the leaders.
Ben King (Cannondale - Garmin) tries to attack but his companions follow him and the peloton gets closer. 2 more laps.
|19:56||3 laps to go|
The night is falling as well as the gap: 15 seconds.
Jempy Drucker's teammates now set the pace with a gap down to 16 seconds.
Many teams have been involved in the chase: Trek Factory, Lampre - Merida, Giant - Alpecin, Tinkoff - Saxo...
|19:48||4 laps to go|
Fabio Duarte (Colombia) is about to be caught by the peloton, 20 seconds behind the leaders.
|19:41||Duarte gets closer|
On the finish line, Fabio Duarte (Team Colombia) is only 5 seconds behind the six leaders.
The gap with the peloton is up to 25 seconds.
5 more laps to go.
|19:38||The 30 last kilometres|
One rider from Team Colombia is trying to bridge the gap.
|19:33||6 more laps|
Lampre are now setting the pace in the peloton.
The gap stabilizes. The race is on!
|19:20||Giant and Trek|
Giant - Alpecin and Trek Factory set the pace only 15 seconds behind the leaders with 49 km to go.
Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) needs to change his back wheel.
Matteo Montaguti (AG2R - La Mondiale), Omar Fraile (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA), Carlos Verona (Etixx - Quick Step), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Ben King (Cannondale - Garmin) and Laurent Pichon (FDJ) have attacked in the second lap.
Results at Madrid (km 45.6):
1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
2. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar)
3. Francisco Ventoso (Movistar)
Valverde takes 4 points and now leads the points classification.
Alejandro Valverde's teammates lead the peloton.
There is an intermediary sprint with 52 km to go.
|19:04||On the finish line|
The peloton crosses the finish line for the first time. 58 km to go with 10 laps of a 5.8 km long circuit.
The peloton is in the city of Madrid for the 60 last kilometres of this 70th Vuelta a España.
Astana riders lead the way with the red jersey Fabio Aru.
|18:56||Trek looking for a 4th stage win|
Dirk Demol (Trek Factory sports director):
"We can be satisfied with our Vuelta. Three stage wins is a very good result, we're now trying to snatch a fourth in Madrid."
|18:50||Majka happy with his 1st Grand Tour podium|
Rafal Majka (Tinkoff - Saxo, 3rd overall):
"It's really rewarding because we never stopped fighting for it. It was a team work, really. I'm still young so I can look forward to the future. Now I'm going to the world championships to help Michal Kwiatkowski."
Only 26.7 km were covered in the first hour.
|18:43||Dumoulin was sick|
Christian Guiberteau (Giant-Alpecin sports director):
"It is still a good Vuelta for us. It was a bit too hard for Tom yesterday. I know he does not want to talk about it but he was sick the day before. It was probably the result of a long stressful Vuelta where he was always on the limit. He's still young. It may mean that as a team we will need to think about what we're fighting for but let's not forget we got so many great results as a sprinters' team."
|18:38||"A team victory"|
Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana team manager):
"It is not just about Fabio Aru, it is a team victory. We prepared out strategy with Martinelli and Zanini. On paper it was easy but in reality it was much harder. It shows that you cannot achieve those results without a team around you. I'm sorry for Dumoulin, I would have liked to see him on the podium."
|18:29||Not many sprinters left|
Today's stage is designed for a bunch sprint at the Plaza Cibeles. Here are some of the fastmen still in the race: John Degenkolb (Giant - Alpecin), Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory), Kristian Sbaragli (MTN - Qhubeka), Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar), Jempy Drucker (BMC), Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Daryl Impey (Orica - Greenedge), Max Richeze (Lampre - Merida), Nikolas Maes (Etixx - Quick Step).
The bunch is now riding through Coslada (km 17), still with a very easy pace.
Astana are celebrating Fabio Aru's triumph. With 25 years old, he gets his first victory in a Grand Tour thanks to an impressive collective performance yesterday.
This is also a time of celebration for the riders who made it through three hard weeks.
The 158 riders have reached km 0.
The riders are on their way to the real start.
This is the 21st and last stage of the 70th Vuelta a España. A 97.8 km stage should lead to the triumph of sprinters in Madrid and Fabio Aru (Astana) as the overall winner.
The neutralized start from Alcala de Henares is set at 17:35, the actual one at 17:43.
Jersey wearers after the stage 21
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