Tadej Pogacar attacks to take his third Stage win, Podium place and the White Jersey
Primoz Roglic follows all the attacks and secures La Vuelta overall victory!
The final mountain stage 20 was the last chance for the favorites to attack each other.
It all kicked off on the penultimate climb, Puerto de Negra, breakaway leaders Geoghegan Hart and Guerreiro were out in front.
Behind, the attacks started. Team Astana lifted the pace and Lopez attacked, only Quintana, Roglic, Valverde and Pogacar could follow.
The attack stalled and the 15 or so riders left in the peloton including Majka worked their way back.
Lopez went on the attack again, to try and drop the remnants of the main peloton, but his didn't work, Majka and his Bora-hansgrohe teammates got back to the read jersey group.
A huge attack by Pogacar was left unattended and unmarked, he quickly built up a lead of over 1 minute.
Pogacar descended the Puerto de Negra with 20 kms to go, the final climb 9.7 kms in length but at an average of just 4%.
Behind Movistar panicked, Mark Soler set the pace. Pogacar quickly overhauled Quintana's 3rd podium place.
Astana's Fuglsang also did a huge turn, but both Marc Soler and Jacob Fuglsang cracked.
Quintana, with no teammates apart from Valverde, was left to chase on the final climb, Valverde attacked but Bora quickly shut it down. Roglic followed all the moves.
Valverde lifted the pace in the last 4 kms to limit his loses, finishing 1m 33s behind the stage leader to guarentee his 2nd place on the podium.
Quintana lost his podium spot and Lopez lost the white jersey, both to Pogacar.
The 20 year-old Slovenian sensation said afterwards "It definitely took patience," said the Slovenian. "My legs felt good but the morale wasn’t that high in the first part of the stage. Then I saw everybody was uncomfortable with the cold and the rain. I felt good in the last climb and I attacked. Lopez had done a big effort and I chose the right moment. I had good support on the road from Slovenian fans, from my family and from the team car."
"They gave me incredible motivation, and I went full gas for the last hour. They make it easier for me. It was incredible, with so many emotions. I don’t realise that I’ve won three stages in my first Grand Tour. I barely realise I’m gonna be on the final podium of La Vuelta. It will be an honour to stand on the same podium as Alejandro Valverde and Primoz Roglic. It’s really incredible. I never imagined this. It will take me some days to understand what I’ve done."
VIDEO: 2019 La Vuelta Stage 20 Highlights
2019 La Vuelta Stage 20 Top 10
1 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 5:16:40
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:32
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida
5 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:41
6 Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education First 0:01:49
7 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:56
9 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:59
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
2019 La Vuelta GC after Stage 20
1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 80:18:54
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:33
3 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:55
4 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:46
5 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:04:48
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:07:33
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:10:04
8 Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal 0:12:54