La Vuelta a Espana #20: Anton 14th as Yates secures title

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Stage 20 was the final mountain stage of this year’s La Vuelta and, as expected, it proved to be a brutal, decisive day. While only 97,3km, the stage was all about climbing and included three category one climbs and ended in the special category climb to Coll de la Gallina.

In an exciting finale Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) saw off the Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) and Simon Yates (Mitchleton-SCOTT) in the race to the summit. With the latter’s result sealing the overall title for the Brit.

Our best-placed rider on the day was Igor Anton and the team’s overall result saw us climb one place in that competition to seventh.

Earlier, on the descent on the first climb, a group of 15 made it away and yet again, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier was in the action for Team Dimension Data. With today offering the final chance to shake up the general classification, the GC teams kept a tight rein on proceedings. The break was caught on the ascent of Coll de Beixalis. As expected the final stretch of racing was about the GC teams and securing their position in the overall standings.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was among the early movers looking to surprise and he was soon joined by Lopez with less than 20km to go. In the final stages with Quintana slipping back and Yates riding a tempo that saw him assured of holding onto his GC lead it came down to a fight for the line between Mas and Lopez with the Spaniard prevailing in a thrilling spectacle.

Igor Anton – Rider

My first objective today was simply to stay happy, to enjoy the race until the start. From kilometre zero I was constantly awre that every moment in the race (on such a short, decisive day) was important. In that regard I did well, I managed the situations well.

I put in 100% effort today, I wasn’t far behind the winners and very happy to stay with the best riders in peloton and to finish with the likes of Tony Gallopin and Ion Izagirre; plus we are now 7th in the GC of the 22 teams, so it was a very good day.