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.
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.