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Britain's Yates set to secure Tour of Spain title

His success follows that of Sky’s Chris Froome in the Tour of Italy in May.

Simon Yates (file pic).
Simon Yates (file pic).
Image: Imago/PA Images

BRITAIN’S SIMON YATES all but secured the Tour of Spain overall title on Saturday ahead of the final day ‘parade’ to Madrid, meaning British riders will have won all three of cycling’s Grand Tours this season.

The astonishing victory for the 26-year-old Mitchelton-Scott team rider Yates is a form of redemption after he led the Giro d’Italia for two weeks in May, only to lose over 40 minutes on the 19th stage – vowing however to “come back stronger”.

His success follows that of Sky’s Chris Froome in the Tour of Italy in May while another member of the Sky team Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France in July.

Yates was third on the day in a short but mountainous run behind 20th stage winner Quick Step’s 23-year-old Enric Mas and Astana rider Miguel Angel Lopez, just 24, who climbed onto the virtual podium in second and third place.

The men who had been second and third overnight Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde and Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk, both struggled on the final climb and fell to fifth and fourth respectively.

The disappointment in Spain at Valverde dropping from second to finish off the podium on what could be his final chance, was made up for with the euphoria at the emergence of Mas, who was fourth in the Tour de Suisse this year.

French climber Thibaut Pinot, who won two mountain stages on this Vuelta, came sixth, Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran seventh and Movistar man Nairo Quintana, the pre-race favourite, finished eighth.

Yates took the overall lead on the Vuelta from the ninth stage, and while he gave it up for two days to Spanish outsider Jesus Herrera, was always in pole position to win from that time.

© – AFP, 2018 

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