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Chris Froome has cemented his place among the greats of cycling by becoming the first British winner of the Vuelta a Espana in Madrid on Sunday.

The Team Sky rider’s winning margin was two minutes and 15 seconds over Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali. Russia’s Ilnur Zakarin was 36 seconds further back in third.

Froome is the third man to complete the Tour de France-Vuelta double in the same year and first in that order.

Italy’s Matteo Trentin won the final stage to claim his fourth of the race.

Earlier, Froome was able to sip a celebratory bottle of beer and glass of Cava on his way to the Spanish capital, knowing he had only to cross the finish line to win because tradition dictates the race leader is not challenged on the final stage.

“I’ve been fighting for this victory for six years. It’s amazing to stand on the top step this time,” he said, referring to his three second-place finishes in the race in previous years.

“To set off at the start of the year with the goal of winning the Tour of France and back it up at the Vuelta is an incredible feeling.

“But it is nothing I could have achieved on my own. I’ve got an amazing team behind me.

“To win two Grand Tours like this is an amazing feeling and it’s going to be hard to top.”

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