Quintana set to win Vuelta after holding off Froome

Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome

Nairo Quintana added two seconds to his lead after holding off Chris Froome on the final climb of Alto de Aitana

Nairo Quintana is set to win the Vuelta a Espana after holding off Briton Chris Froome’s challenge on the final mountain-top finish of the race.

The Colombian, 26, leads Froome by one minute 23 seconds with only Sunday’s processional stage into Madrid to come.

Team Sky’s Froome, 31, attacked Quintana repeatedly as the pair climbed Alto de Aitana together but was unable to break free of the Movistar rider.

The stage was won by Frenchman Pierre-Roger Latour of Ag2r-La Mondiale.

The 22-year-old outsprinted Colombia’s Darwin Atapuma (BMC) at the summit.

Stage 20 was Froome’s last chance to attack Quintana after trimming his lead by more than two minutes in the individual time-trial on Friday.

He was attempting to become the first man to win the Tour de France and Vuelta in the same season since Bernard Hinault in 1978.

The win will be Quintana’s second in a Grand Tour – his maiden success came in the 2014 Giro d’Italia.

Quintana’s compatriot Estaban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) will complete the podium places in general classification after overhauling Spain’s Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), a three-time winner of the Vuelta.

Britain’s Simon Yates (Orica) finished 14th on the stage to remain sixth overall.

Stage 20 result:

1. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra/Ag2r) 5hrs 19 mins 41 secs

2. Darwin Atapuma (Col/BMC) +0:02

3. Fabio Felline (Ita/ Trek-Segafredo) +0:17

4. Mathias Frank (Swi/IAM Cycling) +0:40

5. Robert Gesink (Ned/LottoNl-Jumbo +1:03

6. Bart de Clercq (Bel/Lotto Soudal) +1:28

7. Rudy Molard (Fra/Cofidis) +2:02

8. Lilian Calmejane (Fra/Direct Energie) +3:01

9. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica-BikeExchange) +3:17

10. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +4:03

11. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +4:05

12. Andrew Talansky (USA/Cannondale) +4:34

13. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff) +4:41

14. Simon Yates (GB/Orica-BikeExchange) +5:04

15. David de la Cruz (Spa/Etixx – Quick-Step) +5:10

General classification after stage 20:

1. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) 80hrs 42mins 36secs

2. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +1:23

3. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica) +4:08

4. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff) +4:21

5. Andrew Talansky (US/Cannondale) +7:43

6. Simon Yates (GB/Orica) +8:33

7. David de la Cruz (Spa/Etixx – Quick-Step) +11:18

8. Daniel Fernandez-Moreno (Spa/Movistar) +13:04

9. Davide Formolo (Ita/Cannondale) +13:17

10. George Bennett (NZ/LottoNI-Jumbo) +14:07

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37329628

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