Vuelta 2017: Contador wins at El Angliru, Froome takes the overall

The 20th stage of La Vuelta brings the final mountaintop finish. Before tackling the Angliru the riders face the Cobertoria and the Cordal, which leads to a mesmerizing finale. Alberto Contador climbs to victory ahead of Wout Poels and Chris Froome, who wins the Spanish Grand Tour for the first time in his career. El Pistolero bids goodbye to the mountains with a great salute. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 20th stage 2017 Vuelta

1. Alberto Contador (spa)
2. Wout Poels (nld) + 0.17
3. Chris Froome (gbr) s.t.
4. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 0.35
5. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 0.51
6. Franco Pellizotti (ita) s.t.
7. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) s.t.
8. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 1.11
9. Romain Bardet (fra) + 1.25
10. Michael Woods (can) + 1.36

14. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 3.43
15. Louis Meintjes (rsa) + 3.56
16. Miguel Ángel López (col) s.t.
21. Esteban Chaves (col) + 4.48
60. Fabio Aru (ita) + 15.07

GC after the 20th stage
1. Chris Froome (gbr)
2. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 2.15
3. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 2.51
4. Alberto Contador (spa) + 3.11
5. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 3.15
6. Wout Poels (nld) + 6.45
7. Michael Woods (can) + 7.56
8. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 8.59
9. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 11.05
10. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 15.36

11. Esteban Chaves (col) + 16.32
12. Louis Meintjes (rsa) + 17.15
13. Fabio Aru (ita) + 21.27
14. Nicolas Roche (irl) + 21.46
15. Segio Pardilla (spa) + 22.45

Race report
It takes a while but following a warm-up climb the front group takes shape at km 20. Stefan Denifl, Julian Alaphilippe, Nicolas Roche, Soren Kragh Andersen, Marc Soler, Enric Mas, Simon Yates, Marc Soler, Patrick Konrad, Jan Polanc, Nelson Oliveira, Tomasz Marczynski, Jaime Roson, Igor Antón, Tobias Ludvigsson, Lluis Mas, Rui Costa, Romain Bardet and Adam Yates race to a lead of slightly more than 1 minute, but Trek keeps them on a leash.

With 45 kms remaining the riders face the last three climbs of this year’s Vuelta. The front group tackles the Cobertoria with a steady lead of 1 minute and Enric Mas and Jan Polanc go on the attack. Soren Kragh Andersen, Marc Soler, Tomasz Marczynski, Romain Bardet, Adam and Simon Yates, Stefan Denifl, Jaime Roson and Patrick Konrad bridge across. They crest the summit with a lead of 1’24”.

On descent, Nibali attacks with some of his team mates, but they are brought back just before hitting the Cordal. Zakarin, Aru, Woods and López have been dropped on descent, yet Zakarin and Woods rejoin the main group on the Cordal.

Kragh Andersen, Soler, Marczynski, Bardet and the Yates-brothers crest the Cordal with a lead of 38 seconds. Soler is the first rider to plunge down, but the Spaniard hits the deck. As does Nibali a little later. He rejoins the main group soon. Contador attacks with his team mate Pantano

Marczynski hits the Angliru with a small lead over Kragh Andersen and Bardet. The Dane waits for his leader Kelderman to help him chase Contador, who is 40 seconds up the road.

Along with Bardet, Mas and Soler Contador gobbles up Marczynski before he heads out with Soler. El Pistolero goes solo with 5.4 kilometres left. Contador widens the gap with the main group to more than 1’30”, but then he starts to lose ground.

On the steepest ramps Nibali gets dropped before Poels and Froome launch a duo-attack. Zakarin goes after them and drops Kelderman. For a while, the Dutchman keeps the rear wheel of the Russian in his sights, but then he cracks. Nibali overtakes him and he drops further back.

Meanwhile, Alberto Contador is suffering but keeps his grinta. He makes his way up to the slightly flatter last kilometre with Poels and Froome half a minute behind. That’s enough for a great salute. El Pistolero ends his career with a win at the Angliru.

Poels and Froome finish at 17 seconds, so the Briton finally wins La Vuelta. The podium in Madrid wil be rounded out by Nibali and Zakarin.

Read also: route 20th stage 2017 Vuelta.

Vuelta 2017 stage 20: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Alberto Contador

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