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11/09/16 - 16:21
Las Rozas de Madrid - Madrid
Vuelta a España • Stage21

Las Rozas de Madrid - Madrid
Vuelta a España - 11 September 2016

Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 16:21 on 11 September 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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And it's confirmed: Nairo Quintana wins the Vuelta a Espana!


Daniele Bennati opens it up... Gianni Meersman draws level... but Magnus Cort Nielsen comes through the middle for another huge win for Orica-BikeExchange!


Orica and Dimension Data right in the mix too...


After the final hairpin the riders zip under the flamme rouge as BMC, Giant and Etixx jostle for positions.


Water bottles have been discarded... and here come Sky, for some reason.


Giant-Alpecin have four men on the front for Arndt - just behind Boaro for Tinkoff. Etixx are also primed.


Tinkoff now swamp the front - for their man Benatti, presumably. FDJ are there as well - just as they hit one of those huge hairpin bends.


Etixx, Sky, Movistar, Trek, Ag2R-La Mondiale, Dimension Data and Giant all near the front now... it's getting rather hectic.


Through the finish they go: one lap remaining. Chetout attacks but it's all for show - he'll be swept up soon, just like Jauregui just has.


They're still digging deep but the Etixx-QuickStep train will eat up these two riders very soon.


Kennaugh has been dropped now so it's just the two Frenchmen left: Chetout and Jauregui.


Gianluca Brambilla leads the chase for Etixx but Movistar are very present - they seem bend on leading out Valverde for this one, see if the veteran Spaniard can nip those points he needs to regain the green jersey.


Last to join, Bouwman is first to sit up - just before the end of the eighth lap. Two laps to go now and the gap is 14 seconds.


Just 15 seconds now for the four leaders so that's that, I'm afraid. Interestingly, both Kennaugh and Bouwman have discarded both their water bottles, while the two Frenchman have one apiece. Not that it matters now - no need to be lighter in a bunch sprint you won't win.


Contador is back with the peloton and he'll now need to fight back to the front. After all, he may want to attack and try and overturn that 13-second deficit to Esteban Chaves and move back into third place...


Now 25 seconds for the leaders, who continue taking pulls but will soon, inevitably, be caught.


Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) is off the back with three team-mates after an apparent mechanical issue. Not the ideal way for him to finish his national tour - the first one in four attempts that he has not won...


The gap is down to 35 seconds for the four leaders. Four laps to go...


Other riders to watch today: Jonas van Genechten (IAM Cycling) - who won stage seven, the day Alberto Contador crashed - and Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) could do something. Also, why not Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data), Rudiger Selig (Bora-Argon 18) and Lorrenzo Manzin (FDJ).


BMC are making their presence known, too, working for their man Jean-Pierre Drucker - who won a stage at the start of the third week of the race. The gap is still one minute for the four leaders...


Just three teams have their full quota of nine riders remaining in the race: Lotto Soudal, Etixx-QuickStep and Orica-GreenEdge.


Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling) needs a bike change. Some reports are saying he crashed but it looks like a mechanical to me. On the front, the oldest man in the race - Svein Tuft of Orica-BikeExchange - pulls. His team has a few cards to play today in Keukeleire, Cort and Simon Gerrans.


The Etixx-QuickStep team of Gianni Meersman comes to the front now. The Belgian won two stages in the opening week and is still looking for his hat-trick. The team also have wins through David de la Cruz and Gianluca Brambilla - not to forget a day in red for the former.


Still 1:10 for this leading group - and they're all taking turns pulling on the front. It's the bearded face of Chatout who's drilling the tempo now, with Kennaugh - the first red jersey of this race - in third place.


Remember: Germany's Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) won the final stage of the Giro back in May after Giacomo Nizzolo was disqualified for irregular sprinting. He's getting ever closer to a win on the Vuelta, and this morning said: "I have finished third in Peniscola, second in Gandia, so if things are logical I will win today. I remember that we have already won in Madrid with John Degenkolb, so this is an inspiration."


Now the team-mates of the big sprinters edge to the front to help lead the chase: Orica-BikeExchange, Bora-Argon 18 and Giant-Alpecin all have a man near the front to help chase down this break. The four leaders cross the line for the fourth time with a lead of 1:08. They have seven laps remaining.


Bouwman has caught the leaders so we now have four riders out ahead - and the gap is up to one minute now.


Indeed, it isn't: Kennaugh takes the points ahead of Jauregui and Chetout. This trio has 40 seconds over the pack, with Bouwman still riding in between.


With the intermediate sprint coming up, Trek have sent a rider the front in case Valverde has a dig. But seeing that there are four riders out ahead, that shouldn't be necessary...


A LottoNL-Jumbo rider has attacked the Movistar-led peloton in pursuit of the three leaders. It's the Dutchman Koen Bouwman.


ATTACKS: Christian Knees (Team Sky) has the first pop. He's swept up but it sparks a move from Quentin Jauregui (Ag2R-La Mondiale). Two riders then bound clear in pursuit: Peter Kennaugh (Sky) and Loic Chetout (Cofidis). They join forces and open up a 10-second gap.


It's worth adding that there is an intermediate sprint the next time the riders cross the finish line (they have just completed the first of nine laps) and that could spark some activity, what with Valverde only trailing Felline by three points...


The pace has increased now that the riders have reached the city centre circuit. They now face 10 laps before what should be a rare bunch sprint finish - at the end of a race which has seen 10 uphill finishes.


Yesterday we also witnessed a fascinating conclusion to the polka dot jersey battle with Spaniard Omar Fraile (Dimension Data) doing enough to wrest the jersey from the shoulders of Kenny Elissonde (FDJ) and secure a second successive victory in the Vuelta's king of the mountains competition. Poor Elissonde, who led by three points going into the stage, attacked early on but hit the wall, allowing Fraile through on the opening climb. The Spaniard took 5pts over the summit to move 2pts clear - and despite Elissonde fighting into the break, the Frenchman failed to pick any more points up and so conceded the lead at the 11th hour.


Now it's the three podium riders who are drinking to champagne: Chris Froome - in the white combined jersey (which he wears, but Quintana has won) - and Esteban Chaves - whose attack yesterday saw him leapfrog Alberto Contador onto the podium - join Quintana in a glass of bubbly while posing for photos.


It's strange not seeing Alejandro Valverde in green: the veteran Spaniard had been leading the points competition for most of the race until being overtaken at the 11th hour by both his team-mate Quintana and - crucially - Fabio Felline of Trek-Segafredo. Italy's Felline managed to get in the break yesterday and - despite being better known for his sprinting than climbing - fought to finish third, whereby rising to 100 points: seven clear of Valverde. Quintana's tenth place on the stage saw him move onto 97 points and into second. In theory it's not yet over: while Quintana won't feature in a fast finish, Valverde has a kick and could finish a place or two above Felline and nab it at the death. We'll see shortly...


And now it's champagne time for Quintana and his team-mates - all of whom, it's worth adding, are wearing red socks and red sunglasses. There's much horseplay going on with some of the Movistars straying each other with bidons filled with water and generally goofing around. Quite the LOL-fest.


The Movistar team of Nairo Quintana are now riding in a line in front of the peloton - eight of the nine riders who started this race following the sad withdrawal yesterday of Jose Joaquin Rojas, who crashed from the break and fractured his ankle. The team almost pulled off a win in the team classification - but came second to BMC, 4:43 down.


Quintana's gone all-in when it comes to red clothing today: shorts, jersey, socks, gloves, bike, helmet and sunglasses - you name it, it's red. Except his shoes: they're white. The Colombian rides into Madrid with a 1:23 lead over Chris Froome, 4:08 over Esteban Chaves, 4:21 over Alberto Contador, and 7:43 over Andrew Talansky. This is his second Grand Tour victory after he secured the maglia rosa in the 2014 Giro d'Italia.


Here's the official profile of today's stage: and it's pretty much entirely flat once they enter Madrid for 10 short laps around a wide boulevard circuit ahead of the finish, which should be a bunch sprint.


And they're off! Although this being the final stage, they're not really off - they're just edging slowly along a slip-road beside a wide highway towards the centre of the Spanish capital...


Yesterday, Colombia’s Nairo Quintana withstood a number of attacks from Britain’s Chris Froome on the Alto di Aitana to retain the red jersey in a thrilling conclusion to stage 20 of the Vuelta a Espana, won from a break by the French youngster Pierre Latour.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 21 of the Vuelta a Espana: the final stage of the race is a 105km processional ride into Madrid which should result in one last bunch sprint before Nairo Quintana is crowned champion.