Pascal Ackermann beat Sam Bennett in a photo finish as the curtain came down on the 2020 cycling season in dramatic fashion in Madrid.
Neither Ackermann nor Bennett knew who'd won the final stage of La Vuelta as they crossed the line, but it was the German who took it in a photo finish, finally getting the better of his former team-mate after months of playing second fiddle to the Irish flier.
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) enjoyed the traditional final stage procession to the finish after effectively sealing his triumph on La Covatilla on Saturday.
Roglic linked arms with his podium neighbours Richard Carapaz (Ineos) and Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) on the run-in to Madrid as he celebrated a superb end to one of the most topsy-turvy individual seasons in cycling history.
Richard Carapaz of Ecuador and Team INEOS - Grenadiers / Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo - Visma Red Leader Jersey / Hugh Carthy of The United Kingdom and Team EF Pro Cycling / during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020, La Vuelta
Image credit: Getty Images
The Slovenian lost out on the Tour de France title in brutal fashion in the final time trial in September, having led for much of the race. But the Jumbo-Visma star bounced back with a brilliant Monument victory before dominating this Vuelta.
Not content with winning the red jersey, Roglic also led the green jersey classification for the entirety of the race, a feat no rider has achieved since Tony Rominger led the red jersey classification from start to finish in the 1994 edition of La Vuelta. Enric Mas also led a classification from stage 1 to stage 18, the competition for best young rider.
The polka dot was a more hotly-contested jersey, with Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) running out the eventual winner after a fierce battle early in the race with Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal).
Remi Cavagna was awarded the most combative rider of La Vuelta this morning, after some sterling performances in breakaways and coming dangerously close to stealing a couple of stage wins along the way as well. Also receiving recognition before the day began was Chris Froome, who was presented with the trophy for the 2011 Vuelta which he won only after Jaunjo Cobo was disqualified.
Froome - 'The 2011 Vuelta was hugely significant for me, to be given the trophy now is incredible'
Froome, famously, is headed out of the door at Ineos and moving on to pastures blue with Israel StartUp Nation. He spoke about his memories with the team after the race on this, the final day of his time with Ineos (and before that, Team Sky).