NAIRO Quintana has admitted he ‘suffered’ after holding off Team Sky’s Chris Froome to win the Vuelta a Espana.
The Colombian Movistar rider secured his second Grand Tour by 1 minute 23 seconds from second-placed Froome, the three-time Tour de France winner.
, battled his way to victory in the crucial final Saturday stage between Benidorm and Alto de Aitana.
But the day before, Froome had sliced two minutes off Quintana’s lead with a dynamic time trial victory.
“I want to congratulate him. He is a great rival,” Quintana, 26, said.
“He had a great time trial and he made me suffer. Riding against the greats like Froome and Alberto Contador gives this win so much more importance.”
Following tradition, Froome didn’t attack his Movistar rival on Sunday’s final stage into Madrid, which was won by Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-BikeExchange).