photo credits @ La Vuelta
Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-BikeExchange) won the final stage of Vuelta a Espana today, marking the Danish rider’s second win in this year’s Spanish Grand Tour.
Nielsen succeeded in outsprinting Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) and Gianni Meersman (Etixx-Quickstep) in a final surge toward the finish in Madrid, to claim the stage honors.
Meanwhile, race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) finished safely in the peloton to secure the overall victory by 1:23 over his chief rival Chris Froome (Team Sky), with fellow Colombian Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) narrowly claiming the final spot on the podium ahead of three-time Vuelta winner – Alberto Contador (Tinkoff).
It took until almost halfway through today’s 104.8 kilometer Las Rozas to Madrid, before a four-rider breakaway group containing Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky), Quentin Jauregui (Ag2r – La Mondiale) and Loïc Cheroot (Cofidis), Koen Bouwman (Lotto NL Jumbo), finally emerged.
However, the peloton never let the quartet stray much beyond a one minute advantage, as the reached the final finishing circuits around the Spanish capital.
From there, one by one each breakaway rider was reclaimed by peloton, with Cheroot being the last to hang-on until the last 5 kilometers.
It was then down to the sprinters teams to line-up their respective riders for the final victory, with Giant-Alpecin doing most of the work on behalf of Nikias Arndt.
However, Etixx then moved up to front in attempt to put Meersman into the right position, with Bennati quick to mark their move.
At one point, it looked like Meersman might emerge as the victor, but a final effort by Nielsen saw the Orica rider make his way past his rivals to seize the stage victory.
The day belonged to Quintana however, who adds this year’s Vuelta a Espana to his previous 2013 Giro d’Italia Grand Tour victory.
Top 10 Finishers
1 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-BikeExchange 2:48:52
2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff Team
3 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
4 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
5 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
6 Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ
7 Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
8 Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Team Katusha
9 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
10 Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky
Final general classification
1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:23
3 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange 0:04:08
4 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:04:21
5 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac 0:07:43
6 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange 0:08:33
7 David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:11:18
8 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team 0:13:04
9 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac 0:13:17
10 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:14:07
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