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2015 Vuelta a Espana gallery

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The final podium in Madrid of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Fabio Aru (Astana) and Rafa Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo)

The final podium in Madrid of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Fabio Aru (Astana) and Rafa Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru kisses his winners trophy

Fabio Aru kisses his winners trophy
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) blitzed the stage 17 time trial to move back into the red jersey

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) blitzed the stage 17 time trial to move back into the red jersey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) pulls on the red jersey

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) pulls on the red jersey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru (Astana) after losing red to Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)

Fabio Aru (Astana) after losing red to Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) drops Fabio Aru and rides into red

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) drops Fabio Aru and rides into red
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Frank Schleck (Trek) turned back the clock to win stage 16

Frank Schleck (Trek) turned back the clock to win stage 16
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) celebrates stage 15 success

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) celebrates stage 15 success
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Spain is a very scenic country

Spain is a very scenic country
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Can you spot the rider in the mist?

Can you spot the rider in the mist?
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) celebrating stage 14 victory in the mist

Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) celebrating stage 14 victory in the mist
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sammy Sánchez was forced out of the race with a foot issue

Sammy Sánchez was forced out of the race with a foot issue
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nelson Oliveira (Lampre-Merida) soloed to stage 13 victoy

Nelson Oliveira (Lampre-Merida) soloed to stage 13 victoy
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru (Astana) contemplating on the start line

Fabio Aru (Astana) contemplating on the start line
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Stage 12 went to Danny van Poppel (Trek)

Stage 12 went to Danny van Poppel (Trek)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru (Astana) on his first day in red

Fabio Aru (Astana) on his first day in red
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The agony of defeat writ large on Maxime Bouet's face

The agony of defeat writ large on Maxime Bouet's face
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) losing his red jersey to Tom Dumoulin on stage 17

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) losing his red jersey to Tom Dumoulin on stage 17
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) takes back the red jersey

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) takes back the red jersey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru (Astana) kitted out in red for the final stage

Fabio Aru (Astana) kitted out in red for the final stage
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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That's ten stage wins for John Degenkolb at the Vuelta

That's ten stage wins for John Degenkolb at the Vuelta
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A winner smile

A winner smile
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Refugees welcome in Madrid

Refugees welcome in Madrid
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The realisation of losing the Vuelta sinks in for Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)

The realisation of losing the Vuelta sinks in for Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The moment the race was won, Fabio Aru attacks on stage 19 to crack Tom Dumoulin

The moment the race was won, Fabio Aru attacks on stage 19 to crack Tom Dumoulin
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Stage 19 stage winner Ruben Plaza (Lampre Merida)

Stage 19 stage winner Ruben Plaza (Lampre Merida)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru not celebrating the stage in but rather overall victory on stage 20

Fabio Aru not celebrating the stage in but rather overall victory on stage 20
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru drapes himself in the Sardinian flag after reclaiming red on stage 20

Fabio Aru drapes himself in the Sardinian flag after reclaiming red on stage 20
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) soloed to stage 19 victory

Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) soloed to stage 19 victory
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) holds onto red after stage 19

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) holds onto red after stage 19
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton rides into Avila

The peloton rides into Avila
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Giant-Alpecin looking after Tom Dumoulin in red

Giant-Alpecin looking after Tom Dumoulin in red
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nico Roche (Team Sky) won stage 18 ahead of Haimar Zubeldia (Trek)

Nico Roche (Team Sky) won stage 18 ahead of Haimar Zubeldia (Trek)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) tries to save his red jersey on stage 11

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) tries to save his red jersey on stage 11
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru (Astana) collecting red for the first time

Fabio Aru (Astana) collecting red for the first time
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome (Team Sky) at the team car after a gruelling stage 11 which he rode with a broken foot

Chris Froome (Team Sky) at the team car after a gruelling stage 11 which he rode with a broken foot
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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This was a common sight at the hot Vuelta

This was a common sight at the hot Vuelta
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Dumoulin in the red jersey for the first time

Tom Dumoulin in the red jersey for the first time
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Esteban Chaves was always smiling on the podium which was a common occurrence

Esteban Chaves was always smiling on the podium which was a common occurrence
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) looking content with his stage 4 spoils

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) looking content with his stage 4 spoils
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tejay van Garderen (BMC) crashed and was forced out of the race

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) crashed and was forced out of the race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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'hey! that's my bike' Ben King gets close to the fans

'hey! that's my bike' Ben King gets close to the fans
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan grabbed stage 3 victory

Peter Sagan grabbed stage 3 victory
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Orica-GreenEdge looking after Estaban Chaves in his first day as race leader

Orica-GreenEdge looking after Estaban Chaves in his first day as race leader
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Race officials explain the decision to expel Vincenzo Nibali

Race officials explain the decision to expel Vincenzo Nibali
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was expelled from the race after stage 2

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was expelled from the race after stage 2
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Paolo Tiralongo was a casualty from the big stage 2 pile up

Paolo Tiralongo was a casualty from the big stage 2 pile up
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) in his first red jersey after stage 2 victory

Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) in his first red jersey after stage 2 victory
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) wins stage 2 and starts a rivalry with Tom Dumoulin

Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) wins stage 2 and starts a rivalry with Tom Dumoulin
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Velits was the first red jersey of the 2015 race

Peter Velits was the first red jersey of the 2015 race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team BMC won the opening TTT

Team BMC won the opening TTT
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Caleb Ewan demonstrates the joy of a Vuelta stage win

Caleb Ewan demonstrates the joy of a Vuelta stage win
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Disc brakes made their debut at the Vuelta

Disc brakes made their debut at the Vuelta
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mikel Landa (Astana) attacked to win stage 11 solo

Mikel Landa (Astana) attacked to win stage 11 solo
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kristian Sbaragli (MTN-Qhubeka) was pumped with stage 11 victory

Kristian Sbaragli (MTN-Qhubeka) was pumped with stage 11 victory
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nico Roche was one of numerous riders to hit the tarmac over three weeks of racing

Nico Roche was one of numerous riders to hit the tarmac over three weeks of racing
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) dropped Chris Froome (Team Sky) to win stage 9

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) dropped Chris Froome (Team Sky) to win stage 9
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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om Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) in red for the second time

om Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) in red for the second time
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Esteban Chaves after losing red on stage 9

Esteban Chaves after losing red on stage 9
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alejandro Valverde after crashing and injuring his shoulder on stage 9

Alejandro Valverde after crashing and injuring his shoulder on stage 9
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jasper Stuyven (Trek) won stage 8 with a broken scaphoid

Jasper Stuyven (Trek) won stage 8 with a broken scaphoid
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan crosses the line on stage 8 having been knocked off his bike by a race moto

Peter Sagan crosses the line on stage 8 having been knocked off his bike by a race moto
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The ever smiling Esteban Chaves in red

The ever smiling Esteban Chaves in red
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNl-Jumbo) celebrates his stage 7 win

Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNl-Jumbo) celebrates his stage 7 win
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Antoine Cousin (Europcar) crashed with a stage win in sight

Antoine Cousin (Europcar) crashed with a stage win in sight
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) in the red jersey

Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) in the red jersey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Dumoulin loses the red to Esteban Chaves

Tom Dumoulin loses the red to Esteban Chaves
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) looks back and sees daylight as he rides to stage 6 victory

Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) looks back and sees daylight as he rides to stage 6 victory
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Life's a beach at the Vuelta...

Life's a beach at the Vuelta...
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

The 2015 Vuelta a Espana started on the beachfront in Porto Banus with a team time trial and finished 20 stages later in Madrid with Fabio Aru becoming the first Sardinian to win a grand tour in a race that will be remembered for its incidents as much as its racing exploits. Despite the presence of Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali and Movistar's grand tour winning combination of Alejandro Valverde, the fight for the overall was between Aru, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha).

Dumoulin and double stage winner Esteban Chaves announced themselves as future GC contenders swapping the race leader's jersey in the first week before Aru and Rodríguez joined in the party. Dumoulin, Aru, Rodríguez, Dumoulin and then Aru took it in turns to wear red in the final week of the race as the overall came down to the penultimate stage.

Following on from the neutralised opening time trial stage which partly took place on a beach, Nibli was expelled from the race the next day for holding onto his team car while two incidents with race motos led to Tinkoff-Saxo riders abandoning the race. Peter Sagan was forced out of the race with second degree burns after being hit on the run into stage 8's finish while Sérgio Paulinho was a stage 11 casualty while riding in the breakaway.

Froome was also forced out of the race with injury following a crash that saw the Tour champion break his navicular bone.

While these events grabbed the headline, the Vuelta also ushered in a new generation of youth as eight riders enjoyed debut grand tour stage wins to confirm their place at the top level of the sport while six of the top were under 26.

Click through the gallery above to look back over the best action from the third and final grand tour of the 2015 season.

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