Aru hopes to target Tour after claiming first Grand Tour title
Italian Fabio Aru rode safely across the finish line in an uneventful final stage to win the Vuelta a Espana and clinch his first Grand Tour title yesterday.
The 25-year-old Italian had virtually secured the victory on Saturday after getting help from his Astana team-mates to finally shake off the determined Tom Dumoulin and take the lead ahead of the flat final stage arriving in Madrid.
"I have to thank all of my team-mates," Aru said. "This victory is for them. They did a fantastic job. They deserve all the credit for helping me earn this victory."
"This is a dream come true for me after such a stressful event," said Aru, whose major triumphs so far had been victories in two Vuelta stages and three Giro stages.
Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez, who recovered from a blown tire halfway through the final stage, finished second overall, 57 seconds behind Aru. Rafal Majka of Poland was third, more than a minute back, while John Degenkolb of Germany won the final sprint in Madrid.
Aru took a significant lead in the 176km mountainous stage from San Lorenzo de El Escorial to Cercedilla on Saturday.
He surged past Dumoulin in one of the day's big climbs to take the commanding lead over the Dutchman, who had moved into the leader's red jersey after Wednesday's time trial but finished the race in a disappointing sixth place.
Aru said after Saturday's stage he would like to ride the 2016 Tour de France but first would meet with Astana to decide on the year's objectives.