Movistar wins Vuelta a España teams' classification for the ninth time in its history. Good individual performance sees Nairo Quintana taking 4th, after being close to abandon, as Alejandro Valverde claims 7th place, stage victory and green jersey - Spaniard wins 2015 UCI WorldTour
Italian Fabio Aru (AST) claimed overall honours in the 70th Vuelta a España at Madrid's Plaza de Cibeles on Sunday, as the Movistar Team finished the final Grand Tour of the season "quite satisfied, despite our lack of health and fortune,", said general manager Eusebio Unzué.
The telephone squad climbed again onto the final podium as winners of the teams' classification -their ninth victory in such ranking-, doubling their success from last July in the Tour de France, while Nairo Quintana (4th, just under a minute behind second spot) increased the Blues' streak to eight Grand Tours -from the 2013 Tour- finishing with one of its riders within the top four overall. Alejandro Valverde shone in Vejer, where he took his ninth stage victory in the Vuelta, and was seventh in the GC as well as the most regular thanks to the green jersey conquered today. Today's result awards him the victory in the UCI WorldTour individual ranking, for the fourth time in his career.
“If not satisfied, Nairo can at least end this race confident that, should things have gone better in terms of health, he could have been probably again in contention for the win, seeing how he performed yesterday,” remarked Unzué. “He clearly got stronger during the final week, rode an impressive TT and, despite the last four days weren't the most suited for him and it was difficult to bounce back after all time he lost, he really got to recover after such a delicate situation in Andorra. I'm happy with how he fared."
Regarding Valverde, and “with no desire to make up excuses, the medication he had to go through to get well after the inflammation and consequences from his crash towards Benitatxell made that, for five days, he didn't look and perform like the always-hundred-percent Alejandro we're used to find. Later on, he felt significally well, did a strong TT and yesterday, with a bad moment in the Morcuera climb and the race situation afterwards, couldn't do much else. Considering his brilliant season so far, the fact that he most probably could have been into the top-5 without his crash -the incident doesn't allow us making a more serious analysis- and the fatigue from the Tour, where he got the reward he deserved at a very high cost, I feel like Alejandro did a nice Vuelta. I think he's very well placed for the next goals in the end of his season."
Amador, Erviti, Moreno, Rojas, Sutherland, Ventoso and Visconti completed a flawless group, with all seven making it to the finish in Madrid. “The team worked perfectly for its leaders, both rouleurs and climbers. A consequence of that regularity, always there to help out, is this win in the teams' classification, something we always appreciated and which rounds off a brilliant season for us so far.”
Tour of Britain: Lobato 2nd in London; Rubén Fernández 6th overall
The first race to end in an intense Sunday's racing was held in the capital city of the United Kingdom. The 85km circuit course in London, closing the 2015 Tour of Britain, witnessed another victory for Viviani (SKY) after Greipel (LTS) was releagated due to irregular sprinting. Juanjo Lobato was the fastest into the sprint, yet found himself slightly boxed in after support from Dowsett at the front of the bunch.
The Andalusian's 2nd place, his third in the race, was the end of a nice Tour of Britain for the Movistar Team, with two days in the lead for Lobato and a sixth place overall for Rubén Fernández behind Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN). Gorka Izagirre was forced to abandon due to a mechanical halfway through this final stage.