Vuelta al Pais Vasco 2017: Valverde smashes it

Nail-biting tension was maintained until the end of the final stage individual time trial in this year’s Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Race leader Alejandro Valverde crossed the line after a typically ballsy effort to finish second on the stage to Primoz Roglic and, more importantly, increased his cushion over runner-up Alberto Contador to take his first Pais Vasco title. Local rider Ion Izagirre (and his bonny baby) rounded out the podium to the delight of Basque fans.

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Vuelta al Pais Vasco review: Baby Blackbird wins brutal Basque race

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) rode a controlled race and kept his powder dry for the final showdown, an individual time-trial which he won by a fistful of seconds over Nairo Quintana (Movistar). More importantly, Alberto finished 18 seconds ahead of Sergio Henao (Sky) – more than enough to take his fourth title at this race (2008, 2009, 2014 and 2016). Henao, who took the points jersey, dropped to second, while Quintana nudged Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) off the podium to take third.

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