Fabio Aru of Astana has won the 70th edition of the Vuelta a Espana, with Giant-Alpecin’s John Degenkolb proving his form ahead of next weekend’s UCI Road World Championships by winning the final day's sprint in Madrid.
The German’s victory this afternoon gives some consolation to the Dutch UCI WorldTour outfit after Tom Dumoulin lost the overall lead to Aru yesterday in the mountains outside the Spanish capital.
2009 winner Alejandro Valverde wins the points jersey, and his Movistar team also win the team classification.
The mountains jersey, meanwhile, goes to Omar Fraile of Spanish UCI Professional Continental outfit, Caja Rural, and Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez wins the combination jersey.
Degenkolb, who has now won 10 Vuelta stages, outsprinted Danny van Poppel of Trek Factory Racing and BMC Racing’s Jempy Drucker – winner of last month’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic – to win the 90.8 kilometre stage from Alcalá de Henares today.
The overall podium is completed by Rodriguez, 57 seconds down on the race leader, and Tinkoff-Saxo's Rafal Majka, a further 12 seconds back.
For Degenkolb, winner of Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix this year, this afternoon's win signals a warning shot to his rivals ahead of the World Championships in Richmond, Virginia next weekend, on a course that should suit him.
Aru, meanwhile - who apart fromthe Vuelta and the Giro d'Italia in May, where he was runner-up to Alberto Contador, has only raced 22 days this year, and came to the Spanish race fresher than his rivals - has announced himself as a rider who will figure in the overall challenge at cycling's biggest stage races over the coming decade.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.