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Slovenian Primoz Roglic crowned Vuelta a Espana champion

Slovenian Primoz Roglic crowned Vuelta a Espana champion
FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - The 200.5-km Stage 19 from Lourdes to Laruns - July 27, 2018 - LottoNL-Jumbo rider Primoz Roglic of Slovenia wins the stage. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe -
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MADRID (Reuters) – Slovenian Primoz Roglic was confirmed the winner of the 2019 Vuelta a Espana after completing Sunday’s stage 21 into Madrid, becoming the first rider from his country to win a Grand Tour.

Roglic, 29, successfully defended his sizeable lead over second-placed Alejandro Valverde in the final stage of the 21-day race, a mostly processional 106.6km ride from Fuenlabada to the centre of Madrid which was won by Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen.

His compatriot Tadej Pogacar took the final position on the podium, rounding off a stunning race for the 20-year-old, who earned three stage wins on his Grand Tour debut.

Roglic was among the favourites to win a Vuelta lacking in household names and showed remarkable consistency throughout the race, despite a rocky start which saw him and his Jumbo-Visma team mates involved in a mass crash on the opening stage.

(Reporting by Richard Martin, Editing by William Maclean)

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