The German sprinter closed the Vuelta a Espana with a stage win and is now preparing to take on the peloton in Richmond.
The Vuelta is often a launchpad for young riders' careers. Here are five riders who had breakthrough performances this year.
Fabio Aru won a Spanish grand tour that was filled with crashes, abandonments, and an ejection.
Fabio Aru finishes safely with the pack to take his first grand tour as John Degenkolb finally gets a chance to shine in the sprint
Fabio Aru takes his first grand-tour victory as John Degenkolb salves Giant's wounds over losing the Vuelta on the penultimate stage
Aru rips the red jersey off of Dumoulin's shoulders on the final day of climbing as Plaza rides a long, lonely road to victory.
Fabio Aru proves to be a fighter in Vuelta's final mountain stage, executing a brilliant tactical play to out-climb and beat Tom Dumoulin.
It was one day too long for Tom Dumoulin who tumbled from the overall lead all the way down to sixth-place after imploding in the Sierra.
Ruben Plaza wins final day in the mountains with bold, long-range attack, and the GC podium gets reshuffled.
Ruben Plaza wins stage 20, while Fabio Aru delivers a brilliant attack in Vuelta's final mountain stage to reclaim overall lead for good.