Vincenzo Nibali Wins 2010 Vuelta a Espana and Tyler Farrar Sprints to Win in Final Stage

News & Results

09/19/2010| 0 comments
by Reuters, with additional commentary by Roadcycling.com
Nibali celebrates his Vuelta victory on the podium in Madrid, Spain. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Nibali celebrates his Vuelta victory on the podium in Madrid, Spain. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Vincenzo Nibali Wins 2010 Vuelta a Espana and Tyler Farrar Sprints to Win in Final Stage

Team Garmin-Transitions' Tyler Farrar strikes in Madrid winning final stage of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana; Vincenzo Nibali (Team Liquigas) wins 2010 Vuelta a Espana.

Team Garmin-Transitions' Tyler Farrar strikes in Madrid winning final stage of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana; Vincenzo Nibali (Team Liquigas) wins 2010 Vuelta a Espana.

Vincenzo Nibali became the first Italian to win the Vuelta a Espana in two decades on Sunday with his first victory in a Grand Tour.

The 25-year-old Nibali maintained his 41-second lead over his closest rival, Ezequiel Mosquera of Spain, on a trouble-free day, finishing the largely ceremonial, 85-km final stage in the leading group.

Nibali was 21st, on the same time as stage winner Tyler Farrar of the United States who was first across the line in a bunch sprint. Watch Vuelta video highlights from every stage in our videos section at http://www.roadcycling.com/video

Nibali, who rides for the Liquigas-Doimo team, became the first Italian to win the race since Marco Giovannetti in 1990.

Mosquera was second overall and Slovakian Peter Velits took third place, three minutes two seconds behind Nibali.

"Ever since the race began I always said that I was here to win and that's what I did," Nibali told reporters after finishing the final Vuelta stage.

"I've had a great race and with the help of all the team I've succeeded but it wasn't at all easy," Nibali continued.

"Everybody said I was the biggest threat of all the foreign riders, but that hasn't been extra pressure. I've had great form and that was really all that mattered."

Nibali, who was the leader for two days after Spain's Igor Anton crashed and abandoned, was ousted from the top spot by Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez after the Italian suffered badly on the summit finish of Cotobello.

However, Nibali then took a firm grip on the overall classification on stage 17's time trial through the vineyards of Penafiel, where Mosquera replaced Rodriguez as his main challenger.

Mosquera attacked on Saturday's final climb to Bola del Mundo but Nibali was able to claw his way back into contention by the finish and keep the overall lead. Watch Vuelta video highlights from every stage in our videos section at http://www.roadcycling.com/video

"I had to settle for second but I've never been on the podium of a major Tour before so that's a pretty big achievement in itself," Mosquera told reporters.

"This has been a very stressful experience so I'm just glad it's all over."

"I came into this race feeling good but I never expected to do as well as this," Velits said when asked to comment on his third place finish in the Vuelta and added "It's funny, but breaking my collarbone this spring ended up being beneficial. I had to rest up over the Summer and do some good training for the Autumn. In my first Tour de France, one day I was good and the next day I was bad, but here I was consistent and that was what got me onto the podium here. It's also a very special feeling being HTC-Columbia's first rider to do so."

After Nibali's compatriot Ivan Basso won the Giro d'Italia in May, the Tour of Spain is Liquigas-Doimo's second major

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