American Chris Horner coasted through Stage 21 of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana to capture the individual general classification title for the marquee race. At the same time, Michael Matthews won the final stage to end the event on a high note.
Michael Matthews (Orica) wins stage 21 of #LaVuelta in a sprint finish in Madrid. Chris Horner (RadioShack) completes overall victory— Sky Sports Cycling (@SkyCycling) September 15, 2013
Horner edged Vincenzo Nibali by less than a minute to win the tour of Spain. It was a highly competitive three weeks, which featured plenty of exciting stages and multiple lead changes. But the RadioShack Leopard team star did enough to stand atop the podium.
Let's take a look at the final standings for this year's Vuelta a Espana, followed by a breakdown of the prize money and a recap of the action from Spain.
|1||Chris Horner||Radioshack Leopard||84:36:04|
|2||Vincenzo Nibali||Astana Pro Team||+0:37|
|3||Alejandro Valverde||Movistar Team||+1:36|
|4||Joaquin Rodriguez||Katusha Team||+3:22|
|5||Nicolas Roche||Team Saxo-Tinkoff||+7:11|
|6||Domenico Pozzovivo||AG2R La Mondiale||+8:00|
|8||Samuel Sanchez||Euskaltel Euskadi||+9:51|
|9||Leopold Konig||Team Netapp-Endura||+10:11|
|10||Daniel Moreno||Katusha Team||+13:11|
For a complete look at the final results, visit the race's official site.
Winner's Purse and Classification Prize Money
To check out the full breakdown of payouts from the event, view the full Sports World Intel report.
Horner entered the final stage knowing he would capture the Vuelta a Espana as long as he survived the stage without any major issues. He did exactly that, remaining safely within the peloton to ensure none of his fellow contenders could make up the necessary ground.
It's an extraordinary moment for the veteran cyclist. Not only does he capture the biggest tour victory of an already solid career, but he also did so just a couple months after dealing with a knee injury, which forced him to miss some time.
Will La Vuelta go down as Horner's biggest win?
To come back, capture two stages and win the individual general classification is a remarkable feat. Only three other riders finished within seven minutes of his final time, showing exactly how well he performed throughout the three weeks.
The journey finished with a workmanlike showing in the final stage.
Nibali was a strong second. He looked like a potential champion during the middle stages of the tour, but just couldn't hold off Horner down the stretch. A 37-second deficit is barely anything when you consider they spent nearly 85 hours racing.
Alejandro Valverde, Joaquim Rodriguez and Nicolas Roche rounded out the top five.
The stage victory for Matthews was his second of the event, previously winning Stage 5.
Still, it's Horner who shines the brightest after his Vuelta a Espana triumph.