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.
The last mountain stage, the last stage (barring crashes or DNFs) that the final podium could change, the penultimate race day of the 2020 Vuelta and the men’s pro cycling season. We expected fireworks and in a way we got them, although it felt like a slow nervous breakdown watching the final 3km of the GC race. But up ahead, FDJ’s David Gaudu took another Vuelta stage, with NTT’s Gino Mader and Ion Izagirre (Astana) second and third in the stage. Ineos’s Richard Carapaz had one more roll of the dice, which resulted in the most nail-biting three kilometres since … the Giro! With Primoz Roglic alone, under pressure and not looking his effervescent self, the fear was that he was going to lose another Grand Tour (in the same season!) on the penultimate stage. But he dug deep, rode on fumes and mental strength, and limited his losses to save the red jersey for Madrid.
The fearsome Angliru climb awaited the Vuelta a Espana riders today and gave us action from the bottom to the top. The upper slopes of the Angliru saw a slow-motion battle for the stage as well as the GC. Hugh Carthy of EF took a memorable win with Alexandr Vlasov (Astana) and Enric Mas (Movistar) rounding out the podium. Richard Carapaz of Ineos found a second wind and made the most of the final few kilometres, putting 10sec into Jumbo’s Primoz Roglic, who looked anything but solid, and but for the help of his teammate Sepp Kuss all the way to the line, he could have lost much more time. It’s still all to play for as the race heads towards its final week.