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Cycling: Chris Froome wins Vuelta a Espana to complete the double

Briton Chris Froome has become the third cyclist in history to claim victory in both the Vuelta a Espana and Tour de France in the same year. Froome finished more than two minutes ahead of Italian rival Vincenzo Nibali.

The Team Sky captain paraded into Madrid on Sunday, celebrating finally clinching the win in the Tour of Spain after previously coming second three times. 

The British rider joins Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil (1963) and Bernard Hinault (1978) as the only riders to win the Tour and Vuelta in the same year. However, Froome is the first to pull off the feat since the Vuelta was moved to take place after the Tour in the racing calendar.

"Job done!" he wrote on Twitter, having earlier tweeted that the race was "definitely" the hardest Grand Tour he had ever ridden.

Froome, who won his fourth Tour de France in July, had effectively already secured the Vuelta victory on Saturday. He had put in a solid performance in the three-week race's last competitive stage, the difficult Alto de l'Angliru climb.

It's tradition in cycling for the race leaders not to challenge each other on the final day of major tours. On Sunday, he and Nibali, who rides for Bahrain-Merida, crossed the finish line together. Froome's final time for the race was 82:30:02, ahead of Nibali by 2 minutes 15 seconds.

Alberto Contador (Getty Images/AFP/J. Jordan)

The Vuelta was Contador's final race before retirement

Russian Ilnur Zakarin of Team Katusha Alpecin, secured the final podium spot.

Farewell to Contador

The final stage of the Vuelta also meant the final professional race for famous Spanish climber Alberto Contador, who is retiring from the sport. He had ended his long career on a high note by winning Saturday's climb. 

se/ (dpa, SID, Reuters, AP)

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