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Degenkolb wins Vuelta Stage 21

John Degenkolb won the final stage of La Vuelta 2015 in Madrid after his Giant-Alpecin team gave him the perfect lead out to take the stage.

The stage was largely processional, much like the final stages in the Tour de France or the Giro d’Italia, but there was still stage honours up for grabs.

The festive atmosphere was evident in the race as the peloton all rode together until the finishing circuit, when the racing really began. The intermediate sprint point on the second passing of the finish line saw Valverde take full points which was enough to take Rodriguez out of the green points jersey.

Soon after, six riders broke clear of the peloton although they (Ben King (Cannondale-Garmin), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Omar Fraile (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Laurent Pichon (FDJ), Carlos Verona (Etixx-Quick Step) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)) where never able to get more than 30″ gap on the bunch who were adamant that this would end in a sprint.

The six leaders were caught in the penultimate lap and despite late attacks from Iljo Keisse (Etixx) and Gougeard (AG2R) the sprint teams would not be denied their last chance at victory in a grand tour in 2015.

With plenty of jostling for position Giant-Alpecin emerged as leaders in the final 1500m, with former race leader Dumoulin featuring prominently in the lead out train for Degenkolb.

They delivered the German to the final part of the course where he opened his sprint, seemingly too early as Danny van Poppel (Trek) and Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC) competed with him,

Degenkolb was much too strong for them though and won by clear bike lengths from van Poppel who took second.

Vuelta a Espane 2015 Stage 21: Alcala de Henares>Madrid (98.8km)

1. John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin – Ger) 2:34:13″
2. Danny van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing – Ned)
3. Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC – Fra)
4. Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge – RSA)
5. Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal – Bel)
6. Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida)
7. Nikolas Maes (Etixx-QuickStep – Bel)
8. Kristian Sbaragli (MTN-Qhubeka – Ita)
9. Kevin Reza (FDJ – Fra)
10. Tom Van Asbroeck (LottoNL-Jumbo – Bel)

General Classification

1. Fabio Aru (Astana – Ita) 85:36:13″
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha – Spa) +1’17”
3. Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo – Pol) +1’29”
4. Nairo Quintana (Movistar – Col) +2’02”
5. Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge – Col) +3’30”
6. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin – +3’46”
7. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar – Spa) +7’10”
8. Mikel Nieve (Team Sky – Spa) +7’26”
9. Daniel Moreno (Katusha – Spa) +7’32”
10. Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka – RSA) +10’46”


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