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Irish Cycling Team Record Famous Stage Win At La Vuelta

Irish Cycling Team Record Famous Stage Win At La Vuelta
By Daniel Kelly

Aqua Blue Sport's Stefan Denifl has won Stage 17 of the Vuelta, in a historic day for Irish cycling.

The Austrian rides for the Cork-based team, who are competing in their first ever Grand Tour. Only created in 2016, the team took to the road for the first time at the start of this year.

Unexpectedly handed a wildcard for the final Grand Tour of the year, the team have paid back the organisers' faith in the fledgling team with a surprise victory in the mountains near Santander.

Denifl (who started the day in 69th place overall), moved up ten spots and finished ahead of Alberto Contador on the mountain-top finish in Los Machucos.

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The Austrian has been one of Aqua Blue's best riders in 2017. He previously won the Tour of Austria earlier this year.

While Aqua Blue are not entitled to automatic entry into races like the Vuelta or the Tour de France, Denifl's win will do nothing but help the team's chances of featuring in the big races next year.

It may have taken an Austrian to win a stage, but it's one of the most important days in the history of Irish cycling for a long time.

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SEE ALSO: Irish Cycling Team's Bus Destroyed In 'Cowardly Arson Attack' At Vuelta

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