Vuelta a España - Alberto Contador reaches legend status at the Angliru
Sep 09 2017 06:03 pm CET

Vuelta a España - Alberto Contador reaches legend status at the Angliru
Vuelta a España - Alberto Contador reaches legend status at the Angliru
Photo of Alberto Contador © Mary Cárdenas / CyclingPub.com

Trek-Segafredo's Alberto Contador has won the 20st stage of the Vuelta a España. The Spaniard took his last victory as a professional and Chris Froome all but secured the overall win.

The last 'competitive' stage of the race was 117.5 kilometres long between Corvera de Asturias and the Alto de l'Angliru. It was a rainy and windy day that featured two climbs of the first category and one hors-category; the final to the infamous Angliru.

The day was expected to see a lot of activity and it did not disappoint. Within the first 20 kilometres an escape group was formed including riders like Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors), Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) and Marc Soler (Movistar).

But the peloton wasn't going to let them go far and right away Trek-Segafredo and Astana took turns to keep the gap from growing too much. During the first climb of the day, Mas along with Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), Soler, Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto-Soudal) and Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) attacked from the front group and managed to gain some time, but were eventually reeled back in by the rest during the descent.

The second climb proved to be hard for riders like Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), David de la Cruz (Quick-Step Floors), Miguel Angel Lopez and Fabio Aru (Astana) who lost contact with the favourites group. They did eventually make their way back but Lopez was later dropped again while De la Cruz crashed and was forced to abandon the race.

The last descent of the day was dangerous as was proven by the crashes of riders like Soler and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), both without serious consequences. Just before the start of the Angliru, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) attacked with the help of teammate Jarlinson Pantano and was later joined by some remainders of the escape group like Simon Yates, Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Mas.

Contador kept going, dropping most of his companions on the way until it was only him and Soler left in front. Behind, the favourites' group pulled by Sky and Bahrain-Merida continued its pace in an attempt to avoid losing time to the front riders.

While Contador took the front on his own, movements started happening in the leader's group. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Zakarin tried to get away unsuccessfully. Nibali got dropped by the rest and soon Chris Froome (Sky) went ahead with the company of his teammate Wout Poels.

Contador could maintain his gap and crossed the finish line solo, taking the last victory of his professional career. Poels and Froome arrived to the finish some seconds later, which meant that the four-times Tour de France winner all but secured his first title in the Spanish Grand Tour.

Nibali kept the second place in the General Classification and Zakarin moved to the third position as Sunweb's Wilco Kelderman lost valuable seconds in the last few kilometers and drops off the podium.




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