Viviani and Yates take the glory in Madrid
September 16 th 2018 - 20:00
The final stage of La Vuelta 18 ended with the usual and spectacular bunch sprint in Madrid. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) proved again he was the fastest with a third stage victory, ahead of the World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo). Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) made it through the stage without problems and is the overall winner of La Vuelta 18, his first Grand Tour success and the fifth in a row for British riders.
The pack enjoyed the first sunny 30 kilometres leading to Madrid to celebrate the winners of La Vuelta 18. Simon Yates’ Mitchelton-Scott were wearing a new black and red jersey for the occasion. The British winner of the race also celebrated his triumph with his runner-up Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), 3rd on general classification. Igor Anton (Dimension Data), racing for the last time as a professional rider, crossed the line slightly ahead of the bunch. 11 laps of 5.9km were remaining.
The battle went on with 59km to go. A group of six riders jumped ahead of the bunch: Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing Team), Tiago Machado (Katusha Alpecin), Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH), Loïc Chetout, Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Mikel Iturria (Euskadi-Murias). Sprinters’ teams quickly got into action. The attackers never opened a gap as high as 20’’ and were caught 44km away from the finish.
Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH), Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing Team) and Nikita Stalnov (Astana) immediately launched a new attack and Garikoitz Bravo (Euskadi-Murias) quickly joined them at the front. The pack controlled the gap around 15’’. Nikita Stalnov dropped back to the peloton after a puncture with 27km to go.
The attackers were finally reeled in with 7 kilometres to go. Sprinters’ teams struggled to offer a proper lead-out to their fast men but that didn’t bother Elia Viviani, who came past everyone to celebrate his third stage win of La Vuelta 18. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished safely to seal his overall victory.