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Chris Froome has won La Vuelta a Espana, becoming the first British cyclist in history to do so and near a status as an all-time great.

The four-time Tour de France champion comfortably finished Sunday’s final stage to Madrid in 11th place, to clinch victory in the three-week long race’s general classification.

Froome’s victory means he has become only the third man in history to complete the double of winning Le Tour and La Vuelta in the same season.

He is also the first cyclist to do the Tour-Vuelta double since La Vuelta was moved after Le Tour in the cycling calendar.

The 32-year-old’s fifth Grand Tour victory puts him joint seventh on the all-time list of Grand Tour wins per rider.

While some way from the 11 Grand Tour wins of Belgian Eddy Merckx, Froome is closely approaching Spaniard Alberto Contador’s seven victories.

Contador himself, who will now retire, won the penultimate stage of La Vuelta on Saturday, the infamously steep and uneven climb up the challenging Angliru mountain road.

Froome was characteristically sportsmanlike in congratulating Contador.

He said: “L’Angliru is such a brutal climb, so congratulations to Alberto for finishing off the way he did.

“That was an amazing way to end a career. He was just too strong for us.

Froome may be prioritising a fifth Tour de France title in 2018, but having bagged a La Vuelta title on his sixth attempt, the cyclist’s sights could be set on the third of the Grand Tours: the Giro d’Italia in May.

His La Vuelta victory is the first time Team Sky have won a Grand Tour other than Le Tour de France.

World News – Breaking international news and headlines | Sky News

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