Dec 9th, 13. Crowd favourite German cyclist Jens Voigt will make his 11th appearance at the ... read more
Dec 8th, 13. Reta Trotman and Grayson Napier were impressive winners in the elite women’s and ... read more
Dec 5th, 13. Injured cyclist Eddie Dawkins will take his place in the team sprint combination ... read more
Two jersey changes after final Vuelta stage
Sep 10th, 12. The final stage of the 2012 Vuelta Espana proved more than just a procession into Madrid with two of the jerseys changing hands before the last podium presentation.
While the star of the day was tour champion Alberto Contador (SaxoBank Tinkoff Bank), John Degenkolb (Argos Shimano) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) also had plenty to celebrate.
At the end of the 115km stage, with 9x5.7km laps around Madrid, Degenkolb took the stage victory - incredibly it was his fifth win of this tour!
A few places behind the German was Valverde. The Spaniard's 6th place in the bunch sprint earned him 10 bonus points - enough to steal both the Points and Combination jerseys of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).
"It was a spectacular Vuelta," said Valverde - 2nd overall and winner of two jerseys. "The crowds were massive and that's a pleasure for all of us. The fight between us three was fantastic."
Rodriguez did manage to step up to the final podium thanks to his 3rd placing overall behind Contador and Valverde.
"I'm satisfied with my performance, it was a great Vuelta for me," said Rodriguez. "I'm a little disappointed in the final stage, I lost two jerseys, but I must be a realist: both Contador and Valverde are very strong riders."
The final Grand Tour of the year was thrilling throughout the three weeks of racing. From the TTT opener won by Movistar, to the five stage wins by Degenkolb and the constant attacks of the top GC riders, there was always a battle going on.
"It's been a wild and unpredictable Vuelta and I think it's one of the greatest races in a long time," said Contador. "I put myself under so much pressure that right now I feel as if I was set free."
Contador, Valverde and Rodriguez each said they were very motivated to turn their Grand Tour form into a top performance at the upcoming UCI World Road Championships.
Simon Clarke won the overall KOM jersey, Orica GreenEdge's first Grand Tour jersey, and Movistar won the Team's Classification.
One other person who had reason to celebrate today was Lotto Belisol's Adam Hansen - he crossed the finish line as the only rider to finish all three Grand Tours this year!
Tweet Follow @roadcycling
Support RoadCycling.co.nz Advertisers