Magnus Cort Nielsen of Orica-BikeExchange won the final stage of the 2016 Vuelta a Espana on Sunday, while Movistar's Nairo Quintana secured the overall standings without any problems.
The predicted bunch sprint saw Cort Nielsen make a late move to secure the stage, completing a fine campaign for Orica-BikeExchange.
Quintana secured his win on Saturday, beating Team Sky's Chris Froome and Orica-BikeExchange's Esteban Chaves to the top spot. It's the Colombian's second Grand Tour win after the 2014 Giro d'Italia.
Here's a look at the results from the final Vuelta stage, per Sky Cycling:
And here are the final standings, complete with prize-money info:
|1||Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team||€150.000|
|2||Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky||€57.000|
|3||Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange||€30.000|
|4||Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team||€15.000|
|5||Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac||€12.500|
|6||Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange||€9.000|
|7||David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step||€9.000|
|8||Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team||€6.000|
|9||Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac||€6.000|
|10||George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||€3.800|
Sunday's ride to Madrid was expected to be a slow one, with all of the top riders taking their time to smile for the cameras. With the exception of the points jersey, all of the major classifications had already been decided, so there was little reason to push the tempo.
The positive atmosphere in the peloton was made clear well before the start of the stage, as shared by Eurosport's Laura Meseguer:
The opening kilometers were all about Quintana and his Movistar team-mates, with the former wearing a custom-made red outfit and riding a new bike and the rest of the team donning red tape on the handlebars.
The moving bar was put to good use, per the Vuelta's official Twitter account:
Quintana didn't just have champagne with his team-mates; he also spent some time with Froome, Chaves and Alberto Contador of Tinkoff-Saxo. The Colombian returned for several glasses, and the peloton didn't start its push for the stage win until he was finished.
Per CafeRoubaix, Quintana had every reason to be excited:
Quentin Jauregui (AG2R-La Mondiale), Peter Kennaugh (Sky), Loic Chetout (Cofidis) and Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo) jumped from the pack shortly after the peloton arrived at the local circuit, but Etixx-Quick-Step and Movistar controlled the pace and never allowed the four to build a big lead.
Contador dropped out of the peloton with a mechanical problem but returned easily, ensuring he didn't lose any more time in the overall standings. The local hero had a disappointing Vuelta overall, but he avoided yet another setback in Madrid.
Etixx led out for the sprint, catching the leaders in the final laps, but Gianni Meersman couldn't power past Cort Nielsen, who took the final stage of this year's race.
September will be a quiet month on the cycling calendar, allowing the peloton to save its strengths for what should be a great finale to the season. The Giro di Lombardia kicks off the month of October, with Paris-Tours and the road world championships in Doha, Qatar, to follow.