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Vuelta a Espana 2015 Stage 20

photo credit @ Lampre-Merida/Twitter

After putting in a solo effort for an astonishing 112 kilometers, Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida) claimed the penultimate stage of the Vuelta a Espana today, while his closest rivals Jose Gonçalves (Caja Rural) and Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) finished more than a minute behind.

Meanwhile, Fabio Aru (Astana) wrested the race lead from Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), after dropping the Dutch rider during the third clim of the day.

Race Highlights

Plaza was part of an early breakaway group, who managed to escape during the second climb of the day, and from there, remained out front for the duration of the race.

Meanwhile, back in the peloton, Aru delivered a furious attack along the day’s second to last climb, leaving Dumoulin unable to respond.

From there, the Giant-Alpecin rider finished as far back as 10 spots behind the Italian rider – to fall from 1st place to 6th in the overall classification.

Elated by his triumph, Aru was seen crying with joy at the finish, as barring any unforeseen disaster, tomorrow will bring his first Grand Tour victory.

“I really cannot believe what we achieved today,” Aru said. “My teammates were exceptional today. Some got into the break, others worked to raise the tempo, Mikel Landa did an amazing job. This victory is thanks to my teammates, not me. It was very stressful, but I am so happy to have this leader’s jersey. We knew the penultimate climb was very difficult. … This is the most beautiful win of my career, and Dumoulin has demonstrated that he is a rider for grand tours in the future.”

Stage 20 Results
ESP 1 PLAZA MOLINA, Ruben (LAMPRE – MERIDA) 4:37:05
POR 2 GONÇALVES, José (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA) + 1:07
ITA 3 DE MARCHI, Alessandro (BMC RACING) + 1:08
FRA 4 SICARD, Romain (EUROPCAR) + 1:29
FRA 5 MOINARD, Amaël (BMC RACING) + 1:30
ESP 6 VERONA QUINTANILLA, Carlos (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
COL 7 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY)
FRA 8 ELISSONDE, Kenny (FDJ) + 1:35
ITA 9 MONTAGUTI, Matteo (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 1:43
ITA 10 MOSER, Moreno (CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 2:40
POR 11 SANTOS SIMOES OLIVEIRA, Nelson Filipe (LAMPRE – MERIDA) + 2:42
POL 12 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF – SAXO)
USA 13 WARBASSE, Lawrence (IAM CYCLING)
COL 14 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) + 2:44
NZL 15 BENNETT, George (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
ESP 16 ARROYO DURAN, David (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA)
ESP 17 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK FACTORY RACING)
USA 18 DOMBROWSKI, Joseph Lloyd (CANNONDALE – GARMIN)
COL 19 CANO ARDILA, Alex (COLOMBIA) + 2:48
ITA 20 VISCONTI, Giovanni (MOVISTAR) + 3:01
AUS 21 MCCARTHY, Jay (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 3:19
COL 22 CHAVES RUBIO, Johan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 3:35
ESP 23 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquim (KATUSHA) + 3:37
ITA 24 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA) + 3:38
ESP 25 SANCHEZ GIL, Luis Leon (ASTANA)
BEL 26 VANENDERT, Jelle (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 3:43
ESP 27 LANDA MEANA, Mikel (ASTANA) + 3:48
CRC 28 AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA, Andrey (MOVISTAR) + 4:01
ESP 29 LOSADA ALGUACIL, Alberto (KATUSHA) + 4:53
BEL 30 DE CLERCQ, Bart (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 6:51
ESP 31 NIEVE ITURALDE, Mikel (SKY)
ITA 32 BRAMBILLA, Gianluca (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 7:28
ITA 33 POZZOVIVO, Domenico (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 7:30
LUX 34 SCHLECK, Frank (TREK FACTORY RACING)
NED 35 DUMOULIN, Tom (GIANT – ALPECIN)
RSA 36 MEINTJES, Louis (MTN – QHUBEKA)
FRA 37 JEANDESBOZ, Fabrice (EUROPCAR)
ESP 38 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR)
POR 39 CARDOSO, Andre Fernando S. Martins (CANNONDALE – GARMIN)
ESP 40 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (KATUSHA)

General Classification after Stage 20
ITA 1 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA) 83:01:40
ESP 2 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquim (KATUSHA) + 1:17
POL 3 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 1:29
COL 4 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) + 2:02
COL 5 CHAVES RUBIO, Johan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 3:30
NED 6 DUMOULIN, Tom (GIANT – ALPECIN) + 3:46
ESP 7 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 7:10
ESP 8 NIEVE ITURALDE, Mikel (SKY) + 7:26
ESP 9 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (KATUSHA) + 7:32
RSA 10 MEINTJES, Louis (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 10:46
ITA 11 POZZOVIVO, Domenico (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 11:30
ESP 12 ARROYO DURAN, David (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA) + 13:49
ITA 13 BRAMBILLA, Gianluca (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 15:46
BEL 14 DE CLERCQ, Bart (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 16:54
FRA 15 SICARD, Romain (EUROPCAR) + 17:06
FRA 16 JEANDESBOZ, Fabrice (EUROPCAR) + 17:10
FRA 17 ELISSONDE, Kenny (FDJ) + 17:27
POR 18 CARDOSO, Andre Fernando S. Martins (CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 23:51
ITA 19 VISCONTI, Giovanni (MOVISTAR) + 35:58
ITA 20 ROSA, Diego (ASTANA) + 43:27

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