Mikel Landa took his first win in two years as he claimed the overall victory at the 2021 Vuelta a Burgos, the final preparation race before the upcoming Vuelta a España.
The Bahrain-Victorious rider's sixth on the final uphill stage five was enough to catapult him to the top spot as DSM's Romain Bardet crumbled, having started the day 45 seconds ahead of the then second-place Landa.
EF Education-Nippo's Hugh Carthy won the stage, going clear on the double-digit gradient up to the summit finish, having tried for the stage yesterday but being reeled in by the bunch.
The Brit finished five seconds ahead of Movistar's Einer Rubio, while BikeExchange's Simon Yates took third, Egan Bernal fourth.
The uphill finale provided a brand new top three for the final general classification, Fabio Aru's top 10 finish on stage five enough to boost him up to second overall, 36 seconds behind Landa, while it was the Spaniard's team-mate Mark Padun who climbed up to third to round out the podium.
“I wasn’t really feeling that great to be honest,” Carthy admitted after taking his victory. “I was at the back all day and towards the end I was moving up, little by little, gaining places in the peloton.”
“This is the greatest way to finish the Vuelta a Burgos, especially with Hugh as he gets ready for the Vuelta a España," said EF sports director Juanma Garate. "We were here as practice with more or less the same guys that are going to be at the Vuelta and we had some good practice in the wind and as a team but we didn’t have any results until today.”
Landa is expected to join Carthy on the start line for the Vuelta a España, which starts in a week's time on Saturday August 14, with the likes of Jumbo-Visma's Primož Roglič and Ineos' Egan Bernal the two pre-race favourites for the overall title.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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