Vuelta a Espana: Nairo Quintana to win after holding off Chris Froome
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 11/09/16 3:49pm
Nairo Quintana will be crowned winner of the 2016 Vuelta a Espana on Sunday after fending off six attacks from Chris Froome on stage 20's summit finish to retain the overall lead.
Quintana (Movistar) extended his advantage over Froome (Team Sky) to 1min 23sec by finishing two seconds ahead of the Briton in 10th place on the day and now only has to avoid crashing on a largely processional 21st stage into Madrid to seal his second Grand Tour victory and first at the Vuelta.
Froome applauded Quintana as he followed him over the line and will now finish runner-up at the Vuelta for the third time in his career.
Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) will end the race 4min 8sec down in third place overall after leapfrogging Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) with a brilliant 44km solo attack.
Contador started the day 1min 11sec ahead of the Colombian but foolishly opted against chasing his attack down and eventually crossed the line 1min 24sec in arrears, which knocked him off the podium by 13 seconds.
There will be two Britons in the overall top 10, with Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) finishing 8min 33sec down in sixth place.
The 24-year-old twice launched attacks in a bid to unseat fifth-placed Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac) and although both failed, he still leaves the race with a stage win and the best Grand Tour result of his career so far.
Stage 20 was won by breakaway rider Pierre Latour (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who narrowly beat runner-up Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing) into second place after a ferocious battle in the final 2km of the 21km climb to the summit finish on Alto de Aitana.
Their struggle was replicated back down the road, where Froome rode the first 15km of the ascent by Quintana's side but then bombarded the Colombian with attacks in the final 6km.
However, Quintana followed him with ease on each occasion and then sprinted ahead of the Tour de France winner at the line.
Find out more about stage 21 in our race guide and follow all the action with our live blog from 4pm BST.
Stage 20 result
1 Pierre Latour (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, 5:19:41
2 Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC Racing, +2sec
3 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, +17
4 Mathias Frank (Sui) IAM Cycling, +40
5 Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, +1:03
6 Bart De Clerq (Bel) Lotto Soudal, +1:28
7 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, +2:02
8 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie, +3:01
9 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange, +3:17
10 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +4:03
11 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +4:05
13 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff, +4:41
1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, 80:42:36
2 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +1:23
3 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange, +4:08
4 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff, +4:21
5 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac, +7:43
6 Simon Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange, +8:33
7 David de la Cruz (Esp) Etixx - Quick-Step, +11:18
8 Daniel Moreno (Esp) Movistar, +13:04
9 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac, +13:17
10 George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo, +14:07