Latour wins stage, overall victory all but certain for Quintana
Sep 11 2016 01:43 am CET

Latour wins stage, overall victory all but certain for Quintana
Latour wins stage, overall victory all but certain for Quintana

Nairo Quintana is practically certain of the overall victory in the Vuelta a España after defending his lead in the last mountain stage, won by Pierre Latour of AG2R La Mondiale.

The stage began at Benidorm's Levante beach and finished on the Hors Category Alto de Aitana 193 kilometers later.

The stage was marred by a heavy crash for Movistar's Jose Joaquin Rojas. The Spaniard missed a curve, slid underneath a guard rail and suffered an open fracture to his tibia, as his team confirmed later on the day.

In the battle for the stage victory, Luis Leon Sanchez of Astana and Rudy Molard of Cofidis were seen in front throughout a large part of the day and were closely followed by a chase group including Latour, Darwin Atapuma and Robert Gesink.

Sanchez dropped his companion on the final climb and was then joined by Atapuma who subsequently dropped the Spaniard as he seemed to be heading for victory. However, Latour caught up and ended up beating the Colombian at the finish for a stage win in his maiden Grand Tour.

Meanwhile, the fight for the Red Jersey had Chris Froome attempting several attacks but the Briton never managed to get away from race leader Quintana. This wasn't the case in the battle for third as Esteban Chaves launched a successful attack to finish the stage in ninth place, 46 seconds ahead of Quintana and 1'24" ahead of Alberto Contador, which was enough for the Colombian to recover his third place after dropping to fourth in Friday's time trial.

Quintana and Froome finished together, with the Movistar leader making one final effort to beat his principal rivals by two seconds.

The results of the last mountain stage in this year's Vuelta mean that Quintana has a comfortable 1'23" lead going into the closing stage in Madrid on Sunday. The top five is completed by Froome, Chaves, Contador and Andrew Talansky.
Photo of Pierre Latour by CyclingPub.



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