Juan Jose Cobo Acebo Wins 2011 Vuelta a Espana

News & Results

09/11/2011| 0 comments
by Reuters and Roadcycling.com
Peter Sagan takes the victory for Team Liquigas-Cannondale in the final stage of the Vuelta a Espana 2011. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Peter Sagan takes the victory for Team Liquigas-Cannondale in the final stage of the Vuelta a Espana 2011. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Juan Jose Cobo Acebo Wins 2011 Vuelta a Espana

Juan Jose Cobo Acebo's winning margin in the 2011 Tour of Spain over Great Britain's Chris Froome (Team Sky Procycling) was so narrow the wary Spaniard refused to celebrate his victory before crossing the final finish line in Madrid earlier this afternoon.

Juan Jose Cobo Acebo's winning margin in the 2011 Tour of Spain over Great Britain's Chris Froome (Team Sky Procycling) was so narrow the wary Spaniard refused to celebrate his victory before crossing the final finish line in Madrid earlier this afternoon.

Cobo completed the final stage with his 13-second advantage, the seventh smallest margin in a Grand Tour for more than five decades, intact.

However, on Sunday's 95.5 kilometre run to Madrid the Team Geox rider did not drink any champagne as he rode along or do any other on-bike celebrations, as is traditional for the overall winner on the largely ceremonial last stage of major Tours.

"Finally there were no attacks but I was worried," Cobo told reporters after completing the stage in 20th place and receiving the winner's trophy from Prince Felipe, heir to the Spanish throne.

"I'd like to thank (Froome's team) Sky publicly for not trying anything at the last minute. I relaxed a little when I saw they weren't try to pull back the breaks, and in fact I still can't believe I've won now," Cobo Acebo added.

Froome, however, told reporters he would never have attacked Cobo Acebo in the final stage of the Vuelta a Espana.

"It would have felt a bit like cheating," Froome told Roadcycling.com and Roadcycling.mobi.

"I had my chance in the mountains. You don't attack the leader on the Champs Elysees stage in the Tour de France, and the same goes for here in the last stage of the Tour of Spain."

"I'm over the moon and it was an experience of a lifetime. Over the last week when it became clear that my early form and time trial performance were not one-off results I really began to enjoy myself and came to the realisation that I can now compete with some of the best GC riders in the world," Froome added.

Froome's Team Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins, also of Great Britain, finished third overall, his best ever result in a major Tour after taking fourth in the 2009 Tour de France. Wiggins exited the Tour de France this year after suffering a fracture in a crash.

"Thinking back to where I was a couple of months ago it's a fantastic feeling to finish on the podium here and obviously it's a massive result for the team to have Froomey on the podium with me too," Wiggins told Roadcycling.com and Roadcycling.mobi.

"With my shoulder as it was this race was always going to be a bit of a testing ground for me and I'm really happy with the way I've been able to ride.

"This race has proved that what happened two years ago at the Tour de France was no fluke and I know in my mind now that I have what it takes to match strong riders at the Tour de France next year," Wiggins concluded.

Nicknamed "the Bison," Cobo galloped into contention with a late attack on the Farrapona climb on stage 14 that enabled him to climb to eighth overall.

Then the 30-year-old Team Geox rider

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