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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.