Nairo Quintana (Movistar) claimed his second Grand Tour title when he won the Vuelta a España on Sunday after a fierce battle with his biggest rival Chris Froome (Sky) as the final stage was won by Denmark's Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Bike Exchange). His fellow Colombian Esteban Chaves rounded off the podium after overtaking Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), the race's most aggressive rider, in Saturday's final mountain stage. Omar Fraile (Dimension Data) won the polka dot jersey for the mountain...
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Yes, even cities have geo-diversity. You have to be a trained observer, as it is rarely seen from the sky. But it is there, waiting for the most curious among us.
The highest point of the stage is Torrelodones. Leaving Torrelodones, towards Madrid, we will cross for the last time the boundary between the ancient rocks of the Iberian Massif and a tertiary basin (the Tertiary Basin of Madrid), as we did, for example, in Cistierna, but in the opposite direction.
As soon as we pass a fault in Torrelodones, the route takes us over sand and conglomerates, descending little by little towards Madrid. The rocks below the pavement change, albeit unnoticeably, but the landscape is a smooth plain, interrupted only by the rivers that cut across it.
In Madrid, the axis of the Paseo de RecoletosPaseo del Prado runs smoothly over the dividing line between the Manzanares River and the Paz Stream, and the rocks seem to have disappeared beneath the pavement and footpaths. This is not true as, below the entire city of Madrid, is sandstone that is over 30 million years old and is soaked with water. Without that sand and the water that feeds the wells, the existence of a large city like Madrid in a climate with little rain would be nearly impossible.
But there is still much to see. Every building in a city is an opportunity to remember that many aspects of our life depend on geo-diversity. Throughout the city are buildings made of brick, impossible to build without the clay found in tertiary basins – as the Casa de las Flores, home of Pablo Neruda in Madrid, by the Princesa street. The most luxurious buildings were built with metamorphic marble or granite, such as the Royal Palace. Nowadays, rocks are used to cover or decorate already existing structures. Even the most modern buildings, covered in glass, contain a lesson; because all that glass comes from silica, from quartz, that common mineral found in granite that we almost forget exists.
Tertiary Basin of Madrid. One of the large depressions that formed between the mountain chains and mountain ranges of the Iberian Peninsula. All these basins are filled with sediments formed during the Tertiary Period, in the last 50 million years.
Jersey wearers after the stage 21
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