Vincenzo Nibali Secures Overall 2010 Vuelta a Espana Title

News & Results

09/18/2010| 0 comments
by AP, with additional commentary by Roadcycling.com
Nibali chases Mosquera up the final climb of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Nibali chases Mosquera up the final climb of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Vincenzo Nibali Secures Overall 2010 Vuelta a Espana Title

Vincenzo Nibali managed to stay with stage 20 winner Ezequiel Mosquera and thereby secured the 2010 Vuelta a Espana win after Saturday's decisive mountain stage.

Vincenzo Nibali managed to stay with stage 20 winner Ezequiel Mosquera and thereby secured the 2010 Vuelta a Espana win after Saturday's decisive mountain stage.

Needing to overturn a 50-second deficit, Mosquera pushed out with three and a half kilometers (2 miles) to race in the grueling 172-kilometer (107-mile) penultimate leg of the Spanish classic to win in 4 hours, 45 minutes, 28 seconds.

But Nibali surged from a 20-second deficit over the last kilometer and eased up at the end to finish 1 second behind his Spanish rival. (Watch Vuelta a Espana video highlights in our Roadcycling.com video section )

"Mosquera was very strong," Nibali stated after the finish and continued "And with so many people watching on and it being so competitive, so that the fight for the win went right to the finish line."

The Liquigas-Doimo cyclist broke into tears at the summit finish as he all but secured the first victory by an Italian in 20 years with a straightforward final leg awaiting on Sunday.

Nibali is set to be the fifth Italian winner in 65 editions, with Marco Giovannetti the last in 1990. He leads Mosquera - who picked up extra time through bonus points - by 41 seconds with an overall time of 85:16:05.

"I attacked to win the Vuelta, not just the stage," Mosquera commented and added "But he knew how to manage the situation, and I suppose I was a little nervous but him, too, since he had more to lose."

Mosquera made his push at the beginning of the toughest part of the grueling climb up the side of the ski resort.

While Nibali stayed with him early, he soon slipped 11 seconds behind on the near-vertical climb to the Bola del Mundo finish.

Mosquera managed to push 20 seconds ahead with the crowds cheering the top two up the thin strip of road into the clouds.

"I didn't know the (time) difference due to the screams of the people," Mosquera said.

But Nibali found his stride and quickly closed the gap to the Xacobeo-Galicia rider, who crossed the finish line a bicycle length ahead.

Joaquin Rodriguez of Spain finished third - 23 seconds back - to stay fourth in the overall standings behind Peter Velits of Slovakia, who trails Nibali by 3:02. Frank Schleck finished 35 seconds back in fourth to stay fifth overall.

Sunday's very short 85-kilometer (53-mile) ride is from San Sebastian de los Reyes into Madrid, the traditional finish site of the Spanish race.

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