Vuelta a Espana 2020 : Stage 18 – Ackermann aces final stage, Roglic wins overall again

As we wave farewell to professional cycling for another season on the final day of the 2020 Vuelta, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) won the close bunch sprint in Madrid ahead of Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Max Kanter (Sunweb). Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) now has consecutive Vuelta titles, with Richard Carapaz (INEOS) and Hugh Carty (EF Cycling) second and third respectively.

Elisa Balsamo (Valcar Travel) won the last stage of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta on the circuit in Madrid ahead of Lorena Wiebes (Sunweb) and Marta Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana). Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit WNT) defended the leader’s red jersey to also take back-to-back titles ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek Segafredo) and Wiebes.

Ladies first

It may have escaped many people’s notice but women were also racing. 87 riders from 16 teams, including the defending champion Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit -WNT), pitched up in Toledo on Friday to participate in this three-stage event that finished today in Madrid.

On stage one, after the riders had battled both strong head and cross-winds, Lorena Wiebes won the uphill dash to the line ahead of Elisa Balsamo and Brennauer. German time-trial champion Brennauer seized the race lead with her victory in the individual time-trial, just one second ahead of newly crowned Italian road race champion Elisa Longo Borghini, whose teammate Ellen Van Dijk rounded out the podium.

Today Brennauer was attentive throughout the criterium-like final stage, sprinting for bonus seconds at the eight intermediate sprints to defend her lead against Wiebes who attacked early only to be overhauled on the line by Balsamo. Marta Bastianelli rounded out the stage podium.

Congratulatory Procession

Let’s kick this off by congratulating everyone who reached Madrid safely – no mean feat!

Like all Grand Tours, the stage started with plenty of smiles and photo opportunities for the winner, podium, jerseys and award winners.

Freddie’s correct, Roglic is a worthy winner of cyclist of the year.

Stage Winner

The BORA-hansgrohe train screamed into the final few kilometres, desperate to lead Pascal Ackermann to his maiden Vuelta victory and, despite it getting a bit topsy-turvy in the closing metres, he delivered just ahead of Sam Bennett who’d already won stage 4. German youngster Max Kanter rounded out the podium to record his second third-place in this year’s race.

More sportsmanship

Chris Froome (INEOS) also picked up his second Vuelta title today as he was finally awarded the 2011 Vuelta a Espana.

Froome sought to inspire the next generation with this kind gesture.

The final word

GC Ladies Top Ten

1 Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT) 4:29:21

2 Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) +0:12

3 Lorena Wiebes (Sunweb) +0:13

4 Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) +0:13

5 Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb) +0:42

6 Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:44

7 Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:46

8 Maaikw Boogaard (Ale’BTC Ljubljana) +0:52

9 Alice Barnes (Canyon/SRAM) same time

10 Mieke Kroeger (Hitec Products)+ 0:57

Stage 18 Results

1 Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) 3:28:13

2 Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) same time

3 Max Kanter (Sunweb) s/t

4 Jasper Philipsen (UAE-Emirates) s/t

5 Jasha Sutterlin (Sunweb) s/t

GC Top Ten

1 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) 72:46:12

2 Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:24

3 Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling)  +1:15

4 Dan Martin (Israel Start Up) +2:43

5 Enric Mas (Movistar) + 3:36

6 Wout Poels (Bahrain McLaren) +7:16

7 David de la Cruz (UAE-Team Emirates) +7:35

8 David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +7:45

9 Felix Grossschartner (BORA-hansgrohe) +8:15

10 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +9:34

All the Jerseys

Leader’s jersey Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

Points jersey Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

King of the Mountains Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)

Best Young Rider Enric Mas (Movistar)

For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews

Official race website: Vuelta a Espana

Header: ©GETTY/Velo/Justin Setterfield

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