photo credits @ La Vuelta
The 2019 Vuelta a Espana concluded in Madrid today, with Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick Step) winning the final stage and Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) officially crowned as the race winner.
Jakobsen piped Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe) on the line in the Spanish capital, while Szymon Sajnok (CCC Team) finished third.
Meanwhile, Rogllic was joined by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) on the final podium.
Roglic was all smiles as he crossed the line arm-in-arm with his Jumbo-Visma teammates to secure the red jersey and an historic win for Slovenia.
The 29-year-old became the first Slovenian rider to win one of cycling’s three Grand Tours – 10 years after Slovenia’s first stage win on a Grand Tour (Borut Bozic, 2009 Vuelta a Espana) and 13 years after the first Slovenian to lead a Grand Tour (Janez Brajkovic, 2006 Vuelta a Espana).
Today’s final stage – a largely 106.6km processional jaunt into the Spanish capital saw all eyes focussed on Roglic, who delivered a near-flawless three weeks of racing in Spain.
In only his fifth Grand Tour and first Vuelta appearance, Roglic, who came to the sport late after a career as a ski-jumper, was joined on the final podium by both the oldest and youngest riders in the race.
Roglic beat Spanish veteran Valverde by 2’16” and fellow Slovenian Pogacar by 2’38”, with the Colombian duo of Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) completing the final top five.
After nine laps of the city center, a bunch sprint played out once the breakaway duo of Dani Martinez (EF Education First) and Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH) were reeled in with 7km remaining.
The final sprint was launched by Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) but it was 23-year-old Jakobsen – having benefitted from an excellent lead out by his QuickStep teammates Remi Cavagna, Zdenek Stybar and Max Richeze – who powered clear.
Bora-Hansgrohe’s Bennett, a double stage winner and twice runner-up, had his rivals wheel but could not find the needed speed to reel in debutant Jakobsen, who matched teammate’s Philippe Gilbert’s brace of wins, making it five along with Cavagna’s win in Stage 19.
Sajnok took third place in the final stage ahead of Spain’s Jon Aberasturi (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data).
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