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Quintana inches closer to Vuelta title win

Nairo Quintana is set to win the Vuelta a Espana after holding off Briton Chris Froome’s challenge on the final mountain-top finish of the race.

The Colombian, 26, leads Froome by one minute 23 seconds with only Sunday’s processional stage into Madrid to come.

Team Sky’s Froome, 31, attacked Quintana repeatedly as the pair climbed Alto de Aitana, but the Movistar rider beat Froome by two seconds.

The stage was won by Frenchman Pierre-Roger Latour of Ag2r-La Mondiale. The 22-year-old outsprinted Colombia’s Darwin Atapuma at the summit.

Stage 20 was Froome’s last chance to attack Quintana after trimming his lead by more than two minutes in the individual time trial on Friday. He was attempting to become the first man to win the Tour de France and Vuelta in the same season since Bernard Hinault in 1978.

The win will be Quintana’s second in a Grand Tour – his maiden success came in the 2014 Giro d’Italia.

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