Alberto Contador has won his third Vuelta a España after comfortably maintaining his overall lead in today's 21st and final stage time trial.
The now six-time grand tour title holder came into the concluding 9.7-kilometre individual stage at Santiago de Compostela with a solid 1 minute, 37 seconds lead over fellow former Tour de France winner Chris Froome of Great Britain and despite losing 27 seconds to his challenger, the Spaniard managed to finish 1:10s ahead for the victory.
Contador's compatriot Alejandro Valverde completed the podium by finishing in third place 1:50s behind, while Adriano Malori of Italy won the stage by clocking 11:12 ahead of New Zealand's Jesse Sergent and Australian Rohan Dennis in second and third place respectively.
"It's a dream for me to win three Vueltas," said Contador, who also won in 2008 and 2012.
"I really was not expecting it.
"These past two months I have had a lot of ups and downs and the support of the fans has been crucial.
"I am extremely pleased and just want to thank the team as without them this win would have been impossible."
The Vuelta win has not, however, tempted Contador to change his mind about not competing at the International Cycling Union Road World Championships on home turf next week.
He had been selected for the preliminary Spanish squad but earlier this week admitted "the Worlds don't enter into my plans".
Asked if he would change his mind, he said "no".
"I've already taken my decision and I told him [Spanish selector Javier Mínguez]," Contador said.
"It's true that he's put me in the preliminary squad but that doesn't change anything.
"The riders taking part have a great responsibility and Spain are favourites to win a medal."
The World Championships will take place in Ponferrada from September 21 to 28.
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