Stage 21: Leganes to Madrid, 109.6km
On this short stage, it was a processional for the GC and a sprint finish, which saw Michael ‘Bling’ Matthews for Orica-GreenEdge take his second stage win in this Vuelta.
What can you say about a final stage of a Grand Tour? It all comes down to the sprint. Even though the Vuelta has never been the most forgiving race for sprinters – fast-twitch muscle doesn’t suit 20% ramps – the final stage of the race had a formidable burst of speed. Coming into the finishing strait, Matthews was over the finish line a bike length before Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp).
VeloVoices rider of the day
Today, Adam Hansen finished 60th in the GC and completed his seventh consecutive Grand Tour. All with a sense of humour.
Analysis & opinion
We’ll be doing our roundtables and deconstructing all the stages and numbers of the Vuelta during this coming week, so I’ll keep this short. Suffice it to say, Chris Horner has his supporters and his doubters. But one thing that I think everyone can agree on is that this has been one of the most exciting Grand Tours in years, whether it’s the new, young stage winners, the race going full gas on almost every single stage, or the penultimate stage on a mist-shrouded Angliru. There’s something in this Vuelta for everyone to love.
Stage 21 result
1. Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEDGE) 2:44:00
2. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) same time
3. Nikias Arndt (Argos-Shimano) s/t
4. Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) s/t
5. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Lampre-Merida) s/t
1. Chris Horner (RadioShack-Leopard) 84:36:04
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) +0:37
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +1:36
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) +3:22
5. Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) +7:11
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) +8:00
7. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +8:41
8. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) +9:51
9. Leopold Konig (NetApp-Endura) +10:11
10. Daniel Moreno (Katusha) +13:11
Points classification: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
Mountains classification: Nicolas Edet (Cofidis)
Combination classification: Chris Horner (RadioShack-Leopard)
Team classification: Euskaltel-Euskadi.
Link: Official website
I’ve been rooting for Horner for the whole race – one for the old guys. Couldn’t believe it when he took the red back! Thanks for the fantastic coverage of the race.