After yesterday’s blockbuster, today’s circuit races round Madrid were bound to be more mundane except, of course, for the victors. Belgian champion Jolien D’Hoore once again won the bunch sprint at the Madrid Challenge, the final race of the Women’s WorldTour, beating the in-form Coryn Rivera to the line, with Roxane Fournier rounding out the podium. A fitting finale saw Matteo Trentin take his fourth sprint victory, ahead of Lorenzo Manzin and Soren Kragh Andersen, after his team bossed the final kilometres of the Madrid circuit bringing the curtain down on a highly successful Vuelta 2017 for the team. Race leader since stage three, Chris Froome finished safely in the bunch to become the first British rider to win the Vuelta and the first ever to achieve the Tour-Vuelta double. Vincenzo Nibali and Ilnur Zakarin completed the podium.
Riders of the Race
During this Vuelta we’ve celebrated the exploits of many of the teams and riders but, as usual, I’m awarding today’s Riders of the Race to every single rider who’s just finished three gruelling weeks’ of racing in Madrid. Chapeau, you’re all winners in our book. It doesn’t matter where you finished on GC, or how many grand tours you’ve ridden, you should all feel very proud of your achievement. Enjoy this evening’s celebrations, rest and re-charge your batteries and we’ll see you out on the road again very soon.
Things that made me smile
If you’re hoping for photos of kids in glasses or dogs in wigs, you’re going to be disappointed! My choices are far more prosaic.
To beat the boredom on the run in to Madrid, that well-known boy band of Trek-Segafredo’s Markel Irizar and Edward Theuns reprised their latest hit requesting Alberto Contador to ride for another year to the tune of “La Bamba.” I understand the boys are considering auditioning for X-Factor. (I’ve heard worse – Ed).
Bye bye Baby Blackbird bye bye
You’ll be sorely missed and not just by all these fans! #StayAlert for VeloVoices’ homage to the man from Pinto coming soon.
Top 5 Madrid Challenge
1 Jolien D’Hoore (Wiggle High5) 2:02:31
2 Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) same time
3 Roxane Fournier (FDJ) s/t
4 Eugenia Bujak (BTC) s/t
5 Sheyla Gutierrez (Cyclance) s/t
Vuelta a Espana
Top 5 stage
1 Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step) 3:06:25
2 Lorenzo Manzin (FDJ) same time
3 Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) s/t
4 Tom Van Asbroeck (Cannondale-Drapac) s/t
5 Ivan Garcia (Bahrain Merida) s/t
Final 5 GC
1 Chris Froome (Sky) 82:30:02
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) +2:15
3 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) +2:51
4 Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) +3:18
5 Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) +3:18
All the jerseys
Leader: Chris Froome (Sky)
Points: Chris Froome (Sky)
KOM: Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac)
Combined: Chris Froome (Sky)
Team Classification: Astana
Best Young Rider: Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)
Most Aggressive Rider: Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)
Header image: The final Vuelta podium ©GETTY/AFP/Jose Jordan