Vuelta a Espana - Stage 21 » Hipódromo de la Zarzuela › Madrid. Paisaje de la Luz, 101.5km
The INEOS Grenadiers completed stage 21 of the Vuelta a Espana, with a combative display, bringing the Spanish Grand Tour to a close.
Filippo Ganna sprinted to second place after holding off the peloton in an elite lead group. Omar Fraile and Kim Heiduk put in some great turns to help Ganna into the breakaway, before 'Pippo' produced some huge turns to keep the bunch at bay.
A character-building race saw the team continue to battle on together despite crashes and bad luck on the road to Madrid.
Filippo Ganna’s emphatic victory in the stage 10 time trial stands out as a highlight, in addition to some spectacular sprinting performances from the Italian. Ganna finished a close second on stage five, stage 19, and stage 21, demonstrating another string to his bow with superb turns of speed in bunch kicks.
Geraint Thomas put in a typically gutsy ride to make it to Madrid. The Welshman returned to Spain following second place at the Giro in May, but the race didn’t go his way. A combination of crashes and time loss saw G slip back on the GC. A rousing breakaway ride on stage 11 yielded fifth place, as well as another day up the road on Saturday.
The team never gave up trying, targeting a number of breakaways in the second half of the race. Jonathan Castroviejo (fourth on stage 14) and Egan Bernal (seventh on stage 18) pulled off great rides. Omar Fraile was also active in support of the team, as was Kim Heiduk who impressed to complete his Grand Tour debut.
Laurens De Plus sadly crashed on a slick opening team time trial in Barcelona. The Belgian sustained a non-displaced fracture to his right hip, but quickly underwent surgery and is continuing the rehabilitation process back at home.
Thymen Arensman showed some encouraging early form but had a lucky escape following a nasty crash at the conclusion of stage seven. The Dutchman hit the ground hard but thankfully scans ruled out any major injuries.
The race was won overall by Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), with Thomas our best rider on GC, in 31st.