Nairo Quintana is poised to win the Vuelta a Espana after keeping Chris Froome at bay on Stage 20
The Colombian has not officially won the race yet, he just needs to cross the line on Sunday’s sprint stage, which is traditionally a procession for overall contenders.
All three podium places were up for grabs and Orica-BikeExchange’s Esteban Chaves in fourth set his stall out by attacking 45km from the end to dislodge third placed Alberto Contador.
The Spaniard eventually responded but was stranded without his team.
Froome had cut his deficit on Quintana after a sensational display in Friday’s individual time trial but his attacks on the final climb, the Alto de Aitana, were too little, too late.
France’s Pierre-Roger Latour from Ag2r-La Mondiale took the stage victory.
Chavez finished ninth on the stage 1min 25secs ahead of Contador to clinch third place by 13 seconds.
Froome, who afterwards said he did everything he could to win, applauded Quintana as he crossed the line.