The Colombian Nairo Quintana added the Vuelta a Espaa crown to his previous Giro dItalia victory, with Britains Chris Froome finishing runner-up
Nairo Quintana won the Vuelta a Espaa on Sunday, adding the title to the 2014 Giro dItalia on his Grand Tour list of honours.
The Movistar climbing expert had cemented his commanding lead over Team Skys Chris Froome in Saturdays decisive mountain stage.
Following custom, Froome did not challenge Quintana on the traditional ride into the Spanish capital on the 21 st and final stage. The Colombian finished 1min 23 sec in front of the Tour de France winner.
Its been tough, I wont lie, especially on the back of the Tour de France and then going to Rio for the road race and time trial at the Olympics, Froome told Eurosport. Coming here, it means I havent had much period at home for the last three months. Ive had a lot time away from the family.
Quintana completed the gruelling three-week race that covered 3,315.5 km in 83 hr 31 min 28 sec.
Esteban Chaves finished in third place and more than four minutes off the pace. He was followed by the three-times Vuelta winner Alberto Contador in fourth.
I woke up this morning feeling like the winner but I couldnt raise my arms in gala until I crossed the finishing line, Quintana told. This is probably the most important win for me, considering the scenario and who I was racing against. Froome is a great rival.
Magnus Cort Nielsen of Denmark won the flat 105 km ride starting in Las Rozas before make-up loops through Madrids centre. It was his second stage win of this race.
At 26 Quintana has established himself as one of the top riders in the world and the main competitor to the three-times Tour de France winner Froome. Quintana has twice finished runner-up to Froome at the Tour, most recently in July when he could not mount a serious challenge to the dominant Sky squad.
Froome finished second at the Vuelta for a third time, after also arriving close in 2011 and 2014. Nairo was great this Vuelta. Team Movistar was great this Vuelta … they actually rode well and deserve the victory, Froome said.
Quintana, who became the second Colombian to win this race after Luis Herrera in 1987, said winning the Tour remained his main goal. Its a dream that is still with me and I hope one day I can make it come true, he told. I will keep working toward it.
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