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Live coverage

Vuelta a Espana 2017: Stage 21


Hello and welcome to live coverage from stage 21 of the Vuelta a Espana. 

2017 Vuelta a Espana race hub
Vuelta a Espana start list
Vuelta a Espana: Contador conquers the Angliru
Froome savours six-year journey to Vuelta a Espana crown


Hello and welcome to live coverage from the final stage. We're around 20 minutes from the start, with the peloton heading to Madrid for the last sprint of this year's race. 

Right now the riders are heading through the neutralized zone. Froome, in red, with a red bike from Pinarallo is near the front and riding with his Team Sky teammates.


Contador is on the front as well and in conversation with Froome. This is of course Contador's final race before he hangs up his wheel and he has just over 100km of competitive cycling left. It's been a long old road for the 34-year-old with ups and down but he closed out his career with a win yesterday. From Contador's point of view he couldn't have hoped for better (after losing three minutes in the first week.



Nibali is also at the front of the race as we roll along. He's secured second overall, won  a stage, but his challenge suffered at key points, including on yesterday's final climb. He crashed, he rallied but a second best to Chris Froome

Near perfect conditions out there today as the peloton continue to tap out a gentle pace. Rojas is on the front and sharing a joke with Lobatto. The pair were teammates until the end of last year. 


At the back of the bunch Team Sky gather. They all have red lines - instead of blue - to match Froome's jersey. 


Team Sky have been at their best in this year's Vuelta. Yesterday they had five riders on the final climb when the rest of the bunch were down to one or two men - most of whom were on the limit. Sky though, have never shown any collective weakness in this race and some of their team even have a Tour de France in their legs. Perhaps their performance has best been personified by Moscon - a rider who made his Grand Tour debut here but found himself with the necessary horsepower to drop Grand Tour contenders, repeatedly. For a rider who came into this race as a Classics man,  he has certainly had an astonishing three weeks. 


More of a procession than a race right now as riders drop back and chat to one another. Team Sky pick up some beers from the Team Sky and pose for the cameras as we head towards the final 100km of the race. We're already around 10 minute behind schedule.


Feels like they're passing the baton as Contador and Mas talk in the bunch. The latter came through the Contador foundation team before moving up the ranks and yesterday Mas helped Contador out on the final climb with some needed turns on the front.


Over the limit? They're on the champaign now, well the top three, as yet more photos are taken on the front of the bunch. They'll be knocking back Jagerbombs next.


102km to go and Team Sky move to the front as Contador's takes his turn to drift to the back of the bunch and pose with a glass of wine that's been handed from rider to rider over the last few minutes. We'll have Jilly Goolden up next. (Google her if you don't know).


There more pace to the bunch as they head towards the finish. 100km to go as Team Sky set the tone on the front. It's a really gentle pace but it's slowly increasing. 


Over in the Tour of Britain, Lars Boom has taken the overall and Edvald Boasson Hagen has picked up the final stage. You can find results, photos and a report, just here


Earlier today Jolien D'hoore won the Madrid Challenge, with an impressive sprint in the Spanish city. You can find the report, results, and photos from earlier today, right here.


81km remaining from 117km

Back to the Vuelta and Team Sky continue to set the pace. It's still relatively moderate though with no real urgency to reach the finish line. 


Bahrain Merida have ridden up to the front with a selection of coffees. Froome gracefully accepts one from Nibali's men before getting back to business at the front of the race. 


59km remaining from 117km

Into the final 60km of the final stage of this year's Vuelta. 


We're about 10km from the finish circuit and Trek have moved up to the front of the peloton. Will Contador be allowed off the front or at least given the honour of leading the bunch through the streets of Madrid. 50km to go.


And Contador does indeed move off the front. He's waving to the crowds as he takes centre stage in what is his last race as a pro rider. Fan or not, he's left his mark on cycling.


He's enjoying this as he takes the cheers and the applause from the home crowds. He's on the finishing circuit and we eight laps to go. 


And Contador says his farewell. Crossing the line and waving goodbye. Now, head over to our Twitter page and tell us who has been the Grand Tour rider of this generation, Contador or Froome.


Who has been the Grand Tour rider of this generation?

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sun, 10th Sep 2017 17:28:46

Contador is now back in the bunch and Team Sky and QuickStep hit the front. If Trentin wins the intermediate and then the sprint and Froome doesn't pick up any points then the Italian wins the Green jersey. I think. 


The intermediate is around 7km away and Trentin has his men on the front. Will Team Sky try and break this up? They're putting Froome on the front of the bunch. Is it worse the hassle? 


All of QuickStep hit the front and Moscon is politely told to get back in the bunch and calm down. Froome is around 10 riders back.


And Sky are attacking from the main field with two riders.


QuickStep aren't having any of it though and hit the front once more. 5km to go until we hit the intermediate sprint. 


Now just 1.5km to go until the intermediate sprint. Froome is still near the front as QuickStep line out the bunch. Here we go.


Well Froome certainly went for it but he's pushed out of it. Trentin takes the 4 points and the race for the Green jersey is on. I'm still surprised that Team Sky are going for this. 


33km to go and we start to see some attacks from the peloton but QuickStep now need to shut this one down. They're unlikely to get much help from the other teams. 


Three riders have gone clear of the bunch with under 30km to go and it's all up to Quickstep to do the work on the front of the peloton.


The three riders include Costa, de Marchi and Nicholas Schultz. They only have a few seconds though with the bunch holding them close.


25km to go and Aqua Blue also post a man on the front in order to keep the break in sight. 


The three leaders can feel the bunch closing in on them with the gap at maybe 12 seconds. 


A few riders have drifted off the back of the bunch already due to the pace as we race into the final 20km of the Vuelta. The leader trio are still holding their advantage at about 12 seconds with three laps to go.


#LV2017 20km to go and the @ADM_RossodiBuja is still hovering ahead of the bunch.

@BMCProTeam Sun, 10th Sep 2017 18:00:02

18km to go and the trio up front are still collaborating with Quickstep doing most of the work. Bora are also in the mix, so too are Katusha.


The setting sun his providing a rich glare for the riders as they complete another circuit. The three leaders are starting to look a little bit ragged, as we head inside the final 15km of the stage. 


QuickStep missed out on the Green jersey at the Tour and they're intent to make up for it here. Trentin needs to win though and he's well positioned at the end of his blue train with two laps to go. 


The trio are being closed down and the gap is at less than 8 seconds. QuickStep are starting to lose riders though with 8.9km to go.


And it's just Costa and De Marchi remaining with 8.2km to go. 


Rui Costa and De Marchi are fighting on and they're a powerful duo but they're up against it. 5.9km to go and the gap is just five seconds. 


#LV2017 Schultz is caught by the bunch, but still a small gap for De Marchi and Costa. 7 km to go.

@Lotto_Soudal Sun, 10th Sep 2017 18:14:47

One final lap and Rui Costa looks back and then starts to ease up. Bora are doing all the work on the front of the peloton. 


All back together as we hit the line. Bora, QuickStep, Aqua Blue and a barrage of sprinters gathered behind.


And Orica hit the front for Magnus Cort. Cannondale are also lining things out as well. 


Bahrain Merida take up the work on the front but we've still got 4km to go. QuickStep still have the most numbers though as they sit just off the front. 


Theuns is also in the mix for Trek. 


3km to go and Clarke peels off and that leaves QuickStep on the front and with numbers to finish this off. 


2km to go Trent has two men left. 


Around the final tough bend and we're heading for the sprint.


Trentin is fourth wheel.


Trentin goes for it. 


Never in doubt. 


It became a little bit messy in the end and Trentin had to go from a long way out but he was simply too strong for the opposition. That's four wins for the Italian and I think Froome was 13th. Get a calculator. 


Froome was 11th in the sprint and he wins the Green jersey. 


158 points for Froome, 156 points for Trentin.


1 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 03:06:29
2 Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ
3 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
4 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac
5 Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
6 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott
7 Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
8 Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
9 Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
10 Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJ


Contador drops down a place but here's the final GC:


1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
4 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
6 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky
7 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac
8 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team
9 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
10 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team


Corrected GC with time gaps:


1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 82:30:02
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:15
3 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:51
4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:03:15
5 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:18
6 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:06:59
7 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:08:27
8 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:09:13
9 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:11:18
10 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:15:50


You can find our report, results and photos, right here. 


The riders are on the podium and Contador has been given the combativity prize for the race. We're almost out of time.  From everyone at Cyclingnews, thanks for joining us throughout this year's Vuelta.



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