Vuelta a España – Stage 20 – Menchov wins Bola, Contador wins the Vuelta

Denis Menchov has won the penultimate stage of the Vuelta outsprinting Richie Porte to cross the line first for his first win of the season for his Katusha team. Porte and Menchov had escpaed from a strong breakaway group with about 6km to go on the stage.

Behind them, the battle for the GC was going strong between Joaquim Rodriguez, Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde. Valverde was the first to attack on the easier highway section on the Bola del Mundo climb, but he looked fairly cooked as his attack was weak and easily responded to by Contador and J-Rod. The group was then lead up the steep, and rough concrete sections of the final 3km of the Bola. With about 2.5km to go, Rodriguez attacked and Contador initially responded and faded fast. Valverde was dropped like a hammer. As J-Rod clipped off the final km’s at a savage pace, Contador turned himself inside out struggling to keep pace. Valverde, as had been seen numerous times in this Vuelta, needed to regroup and ride at his own pace, which he used to claw back Contador who was really blown at that point. Valverde passed Bert and protected his second place coming in just 25 seconds behind Joaquim. Contador knew he had the race lead protected and either was totally blown or turned it off slighty as he came in a further 19 seconds behind Valverde.

Tomorrow, is the final stage in Madrid with the standard circuit. The Overall (Contador), Combination (J-Rod), Moutains (Clarke), and Team (Movistar) classifications have all been settled. However, Valverde is just 4 points behind Rodriguez in the Green Jersey competition and although it’s unlikely they will contend it, it is still theoretically possible for Valverde to snatch the jersey from J-Rod in the final sprint.

Stage 20 Top Twelve
1. Denis Menchov (KAT)______4h48’48”
2. Richie Porte (SKY)_______+17″
3. Kevin De Weert (OPQ)_____+42″
4. Fredrik Kessiakoff (AST)_+1’16”
5. Romain Sicard (EUS)______+1’39”
6. Eros Capecchi (LIQ)______+2’30”
7. Maxime Bouet (ALM)_______+2’39”
8. Simon Geschke (ARG)______+3’14”
9. Joaquin Rodriguez (KAT)__+3’31”
10. Alejandro Valverde (MOV)_+3’56”
11. Tiago Machado (RNT)_____+4’02”
12. Alberto Contador (STB)__+4’15”

Complete Stage Results: La Vuelta Official

Overall Classification after 20 stages
1. Alberto Contador (STB)________82h14’52″
2. Alejandro Valverde (MOV)______+1’16″
3. Joaquim Rodriguez (KAT)______+1’37″
4. Chris Froome (SKY)___________+10’16″
5. Daniel Moreno (KAT)__________+11’29″
6. Robert Gesink (RAB)__________+12’23″
7. Andrew Talansky (GRM)_______+13’28″
8. Laurens Ten Dam (RAB)_______+13’41″
9. Igor Anton (EUS)_____________+14’01″
10. Benat Intxausti (MOV)_______+16’13″

Complete Overall Classification: La Vuelta Official


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