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Vuelta a España - Circuito del Jarama - Madrid

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  1. 17:30 - Thanks for joining us for our live coverage of the Vuelta a Espana - be sure to return for the world championships later this month, and then the whole of the cycling season next year.

  2. 17:00 - Report: Cobo triumphs as Sagan takes third win

  3. 0km - Young Dutchman Bauke Mollema finishes in ninth and Joaquim Rodriguez is outside the top 20 so it's the Rabobank rider who will take the green jersey from the Spaniard's shoulders right on the final day.

  4. 0km - Juan Jose Cobo crosses the line with his arms in the air: the Spaniard has won the Vuelta a Espana.

  5. 0km - Petacchi was in front, but then Bennati came in on the inside, but Sagan proved the strongest in the centre of the road.

  6. 0km - Skil Shimano finally do the honours, before Petacchi and Bennati go shoulder to shoulder - BUT SAGAN NIPS IN TO TAKE THE WIN!

  7. 0.5km - Leopard's Robert Wagner is on the front, but he has Petacchi on his wheel... then it all slows up... nobody wants to do the lead out...

  8. 1km - Under the kite... here we go...

  9. 1.5km - The pace is 70 km/h at the moment! Lampre and Leopard Trek now on the front...

  10. 2km - Liquigas are nestled together 15 back. Their man Sagan could make it a hat-trick of wins today.

  11. 3km - Lampre have disappeared off the front, but Geox are there just in case Sky try anything fishy.

  12. 4km - Riders are already being blown off the back due to the fierce pace being set in the peloton.

  13. 5km - Still Saxo drive the pace - Haedo obviously feels good today.

  14. 7km - There are quite a few hairpins and tight bends in this Madrid circuit. Saxo are on the front now.

  15. 8km - BMC edging forward, interestingly. Their card is Greg Van Avermaet in the sprints.

  16. 9km - Lampre and Leopard Trek are jostling for positions on the front.

  17. 10km - Quick Step are on the front now, while Sky come right forward too, with British national champion Bradley Wiggins sitting in third.

  18. 11km - Horrach is now caught and we're back as one. Roll on the trains getting ready for the bunch sprint.

  19. 12km - Horrach goes on a long one with the peloton closing in. The other two escapees have sat up, but the Spaniard is going to give it one final effort before throwing in the towel.

  20. 15km - Lampre are really throwing down the hammer now. The gap is 27 seconds.

  21. 18km - It was the same order over the second intermediate sprint: Horrach, Benitez and Caruso. So, whoever finishes higher in the top 20 today out of Rodriguez or Mollema will take the green jersey today.

  22. 20km - The lead is down to just 30 seconds now. Mark Cavendish, who retired from the race in the first week, has just won the opening stage of the Tour of Britain.

  23. 23km - A few names to throw into the hat for today's win: Sagan, Bennati, Petacchi, Haedo, Mondory, Gasparotto, Caruso, Van Avermaet, Vogondy, Isasi, Howard, Degenkolb, Paolini, Reynes, Sutton...

  24. 25km - The three leaders - Damiano Caruso (Liquigas), Joan Horrach (Katusha) and Jose Alberto Benitez (Andalucia) - have 57 seconds on the bunch now.

  25. 26km - They have completed six of 10 laps now.

  26. 30km - Leopard Trek and Sky are sitting behind Lampre and Saxo Bank on the front of the bunch. Alessandro Petacchi really has to do something today in order to save his season.

  27. 32km - The lead is pretty stable, at 45 seconds, but you get the impression that it suits everyone very well to have those three men on a leash further up the road.

  28. 33km - So, who's your tip for today's likely bunch sprint? Can Peter Sagan make it a hat-trick or will Daniele Bennati double up? Have your say in the comment box below...

  29. 36km - Saxo Bank come to the front alongside Lampre. Bjarne Riis's men will be working for their sprinter JJ Haedo - although it should be added that today's stage has no confusing roundabout near the finish, so the Argentine's chances will probably be limited.

  30. 40km - The trio now has 49 seconds over the bunch.

  31. 42km - At the first intermediate sprint, Horrach took the points ahead of Benitez and Caruso. Those three riders up the field will give more emphasis on the final bunch sprint: Horrach is clearly there to neutralise the points for his team-mate Rodriguez, who currently leads the green jersey standings but needs to finish above Bauke Mollema today.

  32. 45km - Lampre are onto the front for their man Alessandro Petacchi, who has had a pretty rotten season to be fair. The veteran Italian won a stage in the Giro, but since then has been a total non-entity - even if he's still managed to complete both the Tour and now the Vuelta.

  33. 50km - The trio has 32 seconds on the bunch.

  34. 52km - Those four - with the exception of Caruso - are reeled in and the Italian is joined by another two riders off the front: Joan Horrach (Katusha) and Jose Alberto Benitez (Andalucia).

  35. 56km - Four riders are off the front: Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis), Damiano Caruso (Liquigas), Jesus Rosendo (Andalucia) and Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas).

  36. 58km - The race is LIVE NOW on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin Media 521) and is also available on your PC via the Eurosport Player: click here to subscribe

  37. 60km - FIRST ATTACKS: Andalucia, Liquigas, Astana and Cofidis are all active off the front of the peloton.

  38. 65km - Yesterday, our blogger Blazin' Saddles wrote a deliberately provocative - yet clearly tongue-in-cheek - piece about how the Vuelta has lost its shine. "There's no denying it's been a terrific race," said Saddles, "but the Vuelta's penultimate stage underlined just how much the race has been whittled down to its last dregs." To read on - plus see a funny picture of riders taking a call of nature - then click on the link below... Blazin' Saddles: Scraping the barrel

  39. 70km - It's all still together as the riders start the first of 10 laps in central Madrid. Now they're on the circuit and have got all the processions and photos out the way, expect the racing to start in earnest.

  40. 75km - Geox lead the peloton into Madrid. This morning, race director Javier Guillen said he was happy with what proved to be "an intense and explosive Vuelta." He continued: "It produced the spectacle that we hoped it would. It's been a very important race for Spain - and the public were amazing. We're going to work on what we learned and make sure that the race is even better in 2012."

  41. 78km - The riders have passed through the suburbs of San Sebastian de los Reyes and Alcobendas. They're just five kilometres from the centre of Madrid for the first of 10 laps of the finishing circuit that includes the Paseo de la Castellana, the Gran Vía and the Paseo del Prado.

  42. 80km - One thing is 100% certain: Frenchman David Moncoutie will stand on the podium in Madrid as King of the Mountains. The Cofidis climber has won his fourth successive polka dot jersey title - and this morning he confirmed that he will put off retirement and come back next year to try and take a fifth successive KOM title, aged 37.

  43. 85km - It's an understandably slow pace as this stage gets off to a rolling, meandering, relaxed start. Don't worry, there will be fireworks later - what with those intermediate sprints and the final bunch finale - but for the time being it's a bit of a Geox love-in for red jersey Juan Jose Cobo.

  44. 88km - The fight for the green jersey will go right to the end, with Katusha's Josquim Rodriguez and Rabobank's Bauke Mollema tied on the top of the standings on 115 points. The Spaniard will take the green if it stays like that, by virtue of his better stage placings (he has two victories) but Mollema has a better sprint than his rival. No doubt they will compete for both intermediate sprints - but it could come down to who finishes higher in the top 20 at the finish...

  45. 90km - Today's stage is short and flat and is likely to finish in a bunch sprint in the Spanish capital. There are two intermediate sprints - at 44km and 73km. Even if Chris Froome manages to take maximum bonus seconds on both sprints, he'll still be one second down on Juan Jose Cobo at the finish. The Spanish Geox rider is all but certain of winning this race - provided he doesn't crash and lose time. Froome's British team-mate at Sky will complete the podium. Vuelta standings and results

  46. 95km - They're off! The remaining 167 riders get this final stage into Madrid underway...

  47. 14:00 - Today's final stage starts with a short neutralised section around the El Jarama motor racing course. They will do one lap of the circuit, which hosted nine Spanish Formula One GPs up until 1981.

  48. 13:55 - It's a sunny day for the final ride into Madrid, with the temperature around 30 degrees at the start. Madrid weather report

  49. 13:50 - Spain's Juan Jose Cobo is all but assured the overall victory in the Vuelta after safely finishing stage 20 yesterday, won by the Italian Daniele Bennati. Leopard Trek's Bennati took the bunch sprint in the Basque capital of Vitoria at a canter ahead of fellow Italians Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) and Damiano Caruso (Liquigas). Report: Cobo on brink as Bennati wins

  50. 13:45 - Welcome to live coverage of stage 21 of the Vuelta a Espana - a short processional 95km ride from Circuito del Jarama to Madrid. After three weeks in the saddle, it all comes down to this...

 

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