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Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) won the 2020 Vuelta a España on Sunday, finishing safely in Madrid on the 18th and final stage to successfully defend his title and make it back-to-back victories in the Spanish Grand Tour.
After he protected his lead on Saturday’s final mountain stage, Roglic closed out the race with a final margin of victory of 24 seconds over runner-up Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), while Hugh Carthy (EF) would round out the final GC podium at 1:15 back.
Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) took a narrow sprint victory on the final stage of the race, just pipping Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) at the finish line, with Max Kanter (Sunweb) taking third in the high-speed bunch kick.
How it happened
The final stage of the Vuelta took the peloton a total of 139.6 kilometers, starting at the Hipódromo de la Zarzuela, just a short ways northwest of Madrid, taking on a wide loop around the city, and then into a finishing circuit on urban roads. Riders covered the early goings of at a relaxed pace before things picked up on the Madrid circuit, with Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Willie Smit (Burgos-BH), Gonzalo Serrano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), and Dmitriy Gruzdev (Astana) forming a breakaway move.
With the sprinters keen to close out the race in a bunch kick, the escape was given little breathing room, and was brought back with around 5 km to go.
Bora-Hansgrohe and Mitchelton-Scott hit the front in the last few kilometers, and then Deceuninck-Quick-Step and UAE-Team Emirates moved up behind the Bora train as Mitchelton-Scott faded. Bora led the pack in the final thousand meters with Ackermann in a strong position but with Bennett and Jasper Philipsen and their Deceuninck and UAE lead-out riders, respectively, just behind.
With around 300 meters to go, the last Bora lead-out rider pulled off and UAE’s Ivo Oliveira briefly hit the front, but as he pulled off, Ackermann launched his move. Bennett responded and tried to pull even on Ackermann’s left with Kanter and Philipsen also charging hard for the line further to his left, but Ackermann would not be denied. The German held on, albeit with some movement across the road in the closing meters, and took his second win of this Vuelta by a handful of centimeters at the line, with Bennett settling for second and Kanter pipping Philipsen for third.
A few seconds later, Roglic rolled across the line, celebrating with teammates as he secured his second straight Vuelta overall title. Carapaz was in the same group to secure second, while Carthy came across the line behind a split, officially losing 28 seconds but comfortably holding on to the final spot on the overall podium.
Top 10, stage 18
1 ACKERMANN Pascal (BORA – hansgrohe) 3:28:13
2 BENNETT Sam (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
3 KANTER Max (Team Sunweb)
4 PHILIPSEN Jasper (UAE-Team Emirates)
5 SÜTTERLIN Jasha (Team Sunweb)
6 MORIN Emmanuel (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits)
7 JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt (NTT Pro Cycling)
8 MANZIN Lorrenzo (Team Total Direct Energie)
9 STANNARD Robert (Mitchelton-Scott)
10 ABERASTURI Jon (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)
Top 10, GC
1 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma) 72:46:12
2 CARAPAZ Richard (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:24
3 CARTHY Hugh (EF Pro Cycling) 1:15
4 MARTIN Dan (Israel Start-Up Nation) 2:43
5 MAS Enric (Movistar Team) 3:36
6 POELS Wout (Bahrain – McLaren) 7:16
7 DE LA CRUZ David (UAE-Team Emirates) 7:35
8 GAUDU David (Groupama – FDJ) 7:45
9 GROSSSCHARTNER Felix (BORA – hansgrohe) 8:15
10 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar Team) 9:34