Vuelta 2015 stage 20: Incredible solo Rubén Plaza, Fabio Aru wins overall

Ruben PlazaStage 20 leads in 175.8 kilometres from San Lorenzo de El Escorial and Cercedilla. The race totals four climbs and Plaza soloes to victory over three of them, while Fabio Aru drops leader Tom Dumoulin at the penultimate climb and takes the red jersey. Purito is second in the 2015 Vuelta, Majka third. And Dumoulin? He freefalls to sixth place overall. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 20th stage Vuelta

1. Ruben Plaza (spa)
2. José Goncalves (spa) + 1.07
3. Alessandro De Marchi (ita) + 1.08
4. Romain Sicard (ita) + 1.29
5. Amaël Moinard (fra) + 1.30
6. Carlos Verona (spa) s.t.
7. Sergio Henao (col) s.t.
8. Kenny Elissonde (fra) + 1.35
9. Matteo Montaguti (ita) + 1.43
10. Moreno Moser (ita) + 2.42

12. Rafal Majka (pol) s.t.
14. Nairo Quintana (col) + 2.44
22. Esteban Chaves (col) + 3.35
23. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) + 3.37
24. Fabio Aru (ita) + 3.38
31. Mikel Nieve (spa) s.t.
35. Tom Dumoulin (nld) + 7.30

GC after stage 20
1. Fabio Aru (ita)
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) + 1.17
3. Rafal Majka (pol) + 1.29
4. Nairo Quintana (col) +2.02
5. Esteban Chaves (col) + 3.30
6. Tom Dumoulin (Nnld) + 3.46
7. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 7.10
8. Mikel Nieve (spa) + 7.26
9. Daniel Moreno (spa) + 7.32
10. Louis Meintjes (rsa) + 10.46

Race report
Sylvain Chavanel attacks once the flag is dropped, but he is brought back. Rubén Plaza, Simon Pellaud, Larry Warbasse, Adam Hansen, Jaco Venter, Dani Navarro, Jay McCarthy, José Gonçalves, Eduard Vorganov, Miguel Angel Rubiano and Yukiya Arashiro are next. Rubiano is dropped, while Moreno Moser bridges the gap. Gonçalves is first to crest the Puerto de Navacerrada. A large group is chasing.

At the Puerto de la Morcuera Ruben Plaza goes solo upfront, while his former companions are caught by the chasing group. When cresting they are nearly 3 minutes down, while the pack is 12 minutes adrift.

The third climb of the day is the Puerto de la Morcuera once again, this time approached from the other side. Giovanni Visconti starts chasing the leader, Alessandro De Marchi joins him. In the pack Landa and Aru launch a duo-attack with Dumoulin reacting in slow-motion. Valverde is dropped.

Aru launches another attack, Majka and Quintana on his wheel. Dumoulin is dropped en crests with a 0’18” deficit.

Luis León Sanchéz and Andrey Zeits were in the chasing group and they wait for their leader Aru to power to a minutes lead over Dumoulin when hitting the lower slopes of the last climb, Puerto de Cotos. He can forget about the podium when Quintana attacks at 6 km’s under the top, Majka on his wheel.

Plaza is first to crest and he powers to the win in the drop.

Majka and Quintana put pressure on Joaquim Rodríguez in the descent, but eventually Purito retains a 0’12” lead over Majka. Without severe crashes he will be second in the overall, his best performance in La Vuelta after two third places. But the ruler in Spain is Fabio Aru who wins his first grand tour at 25 years of age.

Vuelta 2015 stage 20: Route maps, height profile, and more

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Ruben Plaza

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