Final Stage: Vuelta

Matteo Trentin wins yet another Vuelta stage in finale as Chris Froome is crowned champion to clinch the Tour-Vuelta double in the one season

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Final Stage: Vuelta

Quick-Step Floors cap off fantastic Grand Tour season in Madrid

At the 2017 Vuelta a España,quickstep scored their sixth stage victory as Matteo Trentin, becoming only the third rider this season to win at least four Grand Tour stages, after teammates Fernando Gaviria (Giro d’Italia) and Marcel Kittel (Tour de France).

Picture Tim DeWaele

The final day of the Vuelta was a stroll in the park only until the peloton reached the local circuit in Madrid, where attacks fired off the the front as several riders tried to make it into the breakaway. Quick-Step Floors dutifully moved to the head of proceedings and marshaled the bunch, shutting down all these actions until the intermediate sprint, which was nabbed by Matteo, who had his eyes also on the coveted green jersey.

One of the strongest and most dominant teams in the race, Quick-Step Floors controlled the final 30 kilometers of stage 21, brought the three riders who formed an escape back into the peloton and delivered Matteo Trentin in a perfect position for the final sprint of the 72nd Vuelta a España.

The 28-year-old accelerated with 200 meters to go and easily captured his seventh Grand Tour victory, over Lorrenzo Manzin (FDJ) and Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb). Trentin came close to take home also the green jersey, which in the end rested on the shoulders of GC winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), after the overall leader got involved in the bunch sprint.
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Matteo Trentin: “The guys were again awesome today and executed the plan perfectly, so I want to say a big thank you to them, not only for today, but for their entire work during these three hard weeks! We took the reins once we entered on the circuit and didn’t leave anything to chance. I’ll admit, it would have been nice to get also the green jersey, but I won’t let that spoil these fantastic moments. We can be extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in this race: six stages is a remarkable run and this victory in Madrid is the cherry on the top”, a beaming Matteo Trentin said after concluding his first Vuelta a España.

Chris Froome: “It’s an amazing feeling. The team has just been incredible over the last few months. It’s meant so much to me, the way they have supported us. I owe a massive thank you to all my teammates.

“I have to say that is probably the toughest Grand Tour I’ve ever ridden. There was something different happening every day. I’ve had good days and then I’ve been lying on the ground, bleeding, thinking my race might be over. It’s been a rollercoaster – absolutely relentless. It’s a relief now to finish and to be getting to Madrid.

“I think it probably is my greatest achievement, being the first person to win the Tour de France and then go on to win the Vuelta.

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Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) “I don’t have words to explain the feeling I had in that moment. To cross the finish alone in front of my home public. Usually I train in the traffic, I don’t have the road for me. And there after 15 very, very hard years of fighting, today is a special day. It’s a dream.

“I don’t know a goodbye better than this. Now is the moment to stop. When I started as a professional, I said I wanted to finish at the top level. And I think that now is the perfect moment for this. I can only say: ‘Thanks, thanks and thanks’ [to the fans]. I gave the maximum, 100 per cent in the race. In the last 15 years, I did everything with my heart. It’s important.

“Cycling is a sport where the most important is the victory but I also think the spectacle is important. I did everything I could during La Vuelta. And I thank Trek-Segafredo for giving me this opportunity to attack when I want.”

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Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), second overall “It’s not easy to bring the victory back home in each Grand Tour. But I think we’ve worked really well to deliver a great result. Second behind Chris Froome is a big result. He was the man to beat. Chris and his team have done a great job. We’ve fought till the end. We’ve looked for the occasions to get the win but it hasn’t been simple.

“Honour to Froome for having won the Tour and La Vuelta. With podiums at the Giro and La Vuelta it makes for a positive season because I’ve always ridden at a high level. It’s not easy to make the podium when we have to fight for 21 days. It’s an emotion for me as well to see Alberto (Contador) stopping his career today. He’s been a very instinctive rider. In races, he made you crazy because he was likely to attack any time. It’s hard to find another rider like him in the bunch.”

David Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), KOM winner – “It means a lot to me. It’s a huge emotion to bring the jersey to Madrid. I had it from Andorra (Stage 3) until the last day. I want to thank my team for all the support they gave me to make this possible. I’m happy. My next big goal will be the Giro di Lombardia, a race that means something special to me. I hope to be among the best there and then I’ll think about the future.”

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team), best young rider – “I’m very happy. Furthermore after giving so much during La Vuelta. Above all, thanks to my team, we always depend on them in case of a mechanical or a crash. We won the team classification and three stages, so it’s a very positive balance. I’ve always dreamed of being the best young rider of a Grand Tour and fortunately La Vuelta has created the red bib this year. I hope there will be a jersey next year, it’s even more of a motivation.”

Ilnur Zakarin “I’m very happy and to have fought with Alberto Contador yesterday was a great memory. This is my first grand tour podium so all of this is new to me. But I am starting to be comfortable standing along side many of the great riders in cycling,” said Ilnur Zakarin.
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 Søren Andersen Kragh “I’m really happy with the result. With even better positioning I could have delivered more but I’m proud of 3rd. We managed to deliver Wilco to the finish safe and he even moved up a place which is great. My first Grand Tour was much cooler than I expected, I’m super proud of myself and the team and it’s a great feeling to finish. I’m really pleased to have done this with this team.”

Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) “I’m really satisfied with our Vuelta. Before I started the race I would have signed for this result. I’ve never had such a stress-free three weeks, the team kept me going through it all and gave me the confidence I needed on the difficult moments. I’m proud of what we have achieved here.”

Nicolas Roche: (BMC) “I think in the end it was a decent Vuelta. When we started in Nimes, it was important for us to win the team time trial. After that, I dreamed of red for a couple of days and was trying to take the jersey. It didn’t work out but I gave it a go. I always knew that the second week was going to be the toughest for me. I hung in there as much as I could for the second goal, which was to be in the top ten. I had one or two harder days but I think overall, I fought as hard as I could to make time back and to not give up. But, I’m happy it’s over now.”

Tejay van Garderen:(BMC) “I’m quite happy. It’s a bit bittersweet with that crash that I had on stage 6 where I really hurt my ribs and then I had another crash on stage 11. I definitely think something is broken so, I had to fight hard through that. I felt like a different rider from the first half of the race to the second half. I think you can draw a straight line through that second crash which really affected me. I’m happy I was able to fight through it but it’s still a question of ‘what if?’.

Patrick Lefevere – Quick-Step Floors’ CEO – joined the team for the final stage in the capital of Spain, which he watched on-site, and echoed Matteo’s feelings at the end of the season’s last Grand Tour: “I am delighted and very proud of this team. What we’ve done in the three Grand Tours this year is really outstanding and I can’t find the words to tell you what it means for me. We won and we did it by showing panache and an incredible cohesion, which is even more remarkable. Only a couple of teams in the history of cycling took 16 Grand Tour stage victories in a single season, and as of today, we are one of these squads, which makes me very happy.”

Stage 21
1. Matteo Trentin Quick-Step Floors
2. Lorrenzo Manzin FDJ
3. Søren Andersen KraghTeam Sunweb
4. Tom Van Asbroeck Cannondale-Drapac
5. Ivan Garcia Bahrain Merida
6. Magnus Cort ORICA-Scott
7. Kenneth Vanbilsen Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
8. Sacha Modolo UAE Team Emirates
9. Michael Schwarzmann BORA – hansgrohe
10. Daniel Hoelgaard
11. Chris Froome Team Sky

16. Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb
18. Ilnur Zakarin Team Katusha – Alpecin
22. Vincenzo Nibali Bahrain Merida
25. Julian Alaphilippe Quick-Step Floors 0:07
26. Alberto Contador Trek – Segafredo
32. Michael Woods Cannondale-Drapac
33. Laurens de Vreese Astana Pro Team 0:14
43. Nicolas Roche BMC Racing Team
47. Fabio Aru Astana Pro Team
50. Simon Yates ORICA-Scott
52. Esteban Chaves ORICA-Scott
77. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale
83. Louis Meintjes UAE Team Emirates 0:26
85. Adam Blythe Aqua Blue Sport
98. SamO Bewley RICA-Scott 0:46
99. Thomas de Gendt Lotto Soudal
100. Adam Yates ORICA-Scott
105. Ian Stannard Team Sky 0:52
128. Mark Christian Aqua Blue Sport 1:05
133. Thomas Scully Cannondale-Drapac 1:19
151. Conor Dunne Aqua Blue Sport 2:37

1. Chris Froome Team Sky
2. Nibali Vincenzo Bahrain Merida 2:15
3. Ilnur Zakarin Team Katusha – Alpecin 2:51
4. Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb 3:15
5. Alberto Contador Trek – Segafredo 3:18
6. Wout Poels Team Sky 6:59
7. Michael Woods Cannondale-Drapac 08:27
8. Miguel López Astana Pro Team 09:13
9. Steven Kruijswijk Team LottoNL-Jumbo 11:18
10. Tejay van Garderen BMC Racing Team 15:50
11. Esteban Chaves ORICA-Scott 16:46
12. Louis Meintjes UAE Team Emirates 17:41
13. Fabio Aru Astana Pro Team 21:41
14. Nicolas Roche BMC Racing Team 22:00
15. Sergio Pardilla Caja Rural – Seguros RGA 22:59
16. Mikel Nieve Team Sky 28:00
17. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale 31:21
18. Daniel Moreno Movistar Team 42:16
19. Sander Armée Lotto Soudal 59:01
20. Darwin Atapuma UAE Team Emirates 1:02:58

34. Adam Yates ORICA-Scott 01:39:51
44. Simon Yates ORICA-Scott 2:02:43
138. Mark Christian Aqua Blue Sport 4:36:26
148. Ian Stannard Team Sky 4:47:00
153. Thomas Scully Cannondale-Drapac 4:56:59
155. Adam Blythe Aqua Blue Sport 4:58:28
158. Conor Dunne Aqua Blue Sport (lantern roughe – good one Conor!)



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