Final round up of the spicy Vuelta… it was emotional.
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.
It’s rare that a rider can end his career how he wants, when he wants, where he wants. So the fact that Alberto Contador did just that makes his solo stage win on Angliru that much more spectacular. An iconic climb for an iconic rider. Right behind Baby Blackbird today was Chris Froome (okay, technically Wout Poels then Froome), who made sure he got up that climb without incident and without sacrificing any time to any of his rivals to be just one stage away from doing the Tour-Vuelta double. Vincenzo Nibali kept his second step on the podium while Ilnur Zakarin toppled Wilco Kelderman to finish third in the GC.