There was a debut Grand Tour win for Fabio Aru in the Tour of Spain. The Italian coasted over the line on the final day’s ceremonial ride into Madrid on what was the 70th edition of the Vuelta.
It was a remarkable finish for the 25-year old Astana rider who was not even the team’s leader at the start of the three week race.
But he moved into contention when compatriot Vincenzo Nibali was disqualified for hanging onto the Astana team car after a crash on the second stage.
His chances were further boosted on the 11th stage when Tour de France winner Chris Froome’s race was ended after a heavy fall.
The Sardinian had a lead of over a minute going into the final 99 kilometre stage around Madrid.
Joaquim Rodriquez of Spain was second overall 57 seconds adrift of the Italian with Poland’s Rafal Majka a further 12 seconds behind as German John Degenkolb won Sunday’s sprint finish.
Aru is the youngest winner of the Vuelta since Melchor Maure in 1991 with the Astana team saying they are now targeting next year’s Tour de France.