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João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) won the final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos in impressive style, coming back on the final climb after being dropped to beat Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) to the win. Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) defended his overall race lead to seal the overall victory and boost his chances of being selected for the Vuelta a España.
The final stage of the race ended on the Lagunas de Neila with a host of GC contenders going head-to-head for both the final stage and the overall victory.
After Ineos Grenadiers, EF Education-EasyPost and Astana had reeled in the final remnants of the break it was the British team that looked to control the front of the race and secure Sivakov’s overall lead.
Juan Pedro Lopez put in a sharp dig with 7.3km to go but he was quickly countered and dropped by Jumbo-Visma’s Chris Harper. The Australian built up a small 12 second lead but with 2.6km to go he too was caught as Carlos Rodriguez put the pressure for Ineos Grenadiers. The Spanish road race champion, who is set to make his grand tour debut later this month at the Vuelta a Espana, set a furious pace on the most difficult slopes of the final climb, and quickly reduced the lead group to just a handful of riders.
Almeida was one of the riders initially dropped with Movistar pair Ivan Sosa and Alejandro Valverde joined out the back by Vincenzo Nibali and Jai Hindley.
Miguel Angel Lopez, fresh off his brief suspension from Astana, attacked inside the final 2km but within 500m he too had been caught by Rodriguez. Sivakov then took over with 1km to go and the lead group thinned out to just the race leader, Rodriguez, Lopez and the returning Almeida.
When the pace briefly eased up with the line in sight Almeida put in a powerful dig that only Lopez could initially match. The Astana rider had no answer in the sprint with Sivakov eventually taking third on the line.
Almeida’s win moved him up to second overall at 35 seconds with Lopez in third on the same time.