Stickybottle

Nicolas Roche closes in on 20 Grand Tours as Yates wins Vuelta

Posted on: September 16th, 2018

Nicolas Roche has finished the Vuelta in Madrid this evening. That makes 19 Grand Tour finishes from 20 starts for the 34-year-old Irish rider (Photo: Chris Auld)

 

Simon Yates has wrapped up overall victory at Vuelta 2018; the Mitchelton-Scott rider crowned this evening in Madrid.

Elia Viviani (QuickStep) won the final stage, his third of the race and his seventh Grand Tour stage win this year.

The Italian was Sam Bennett’s big sprint rival in the Giro back in May; Viviani winning four stages in Italy and Ireland’s Bennett claiming three.

Today the final stage, as anticipated, came down to a bunch sprint with Viviani seeing off Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo).

Simon Yates finished safely in the main pack to win the race from new Spanish star Enric Mas.

The 23-year-old QuickStep rider was in just his second Grand Tour. He finished runner-up to Yates by 1:46.

Mas won the last mountain stage yesterday from Miguel Angel Lopez; the Astana man who claimed 3rd overall at 2:04.

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing) was the only Irish rider in the peloton when it arrived in Madrid.

Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) also started the race. But he left after the opening week as his wife is expecting twins.

 

Viviani wins stage 21, Yates on the podium and with his team after being crowned the 2018 champion.

 

Roche went on the attack repeatedly during this Vuelta, though his efforts to take a third stage win ultimate fell short.

His best result proved to be 8th on stage 11.  However, after a difficult season he looked much stronger over the last couple of weeks.

In finishing today he completed the 19th Grand Tour of his career. That tally would be 20 but for abandoning the Giro earlier this year.

Roche gave up riding for the general classification after losing time in the opening week. In the end he would finish the race in 40th place.

 

Commanding ride by Simon Yates

Yates would win stage 14 on his way to overall victory. The 26-year-old led the race for most of the way.

However, while he was very aggressive, even when in the red jersey, he did not make the same mistakes as when he was leading the Giro.

Back then, when he reached the final stages of the race he was exhausted from his efforts in the second week.

And after his challenge collapsed he faded from the pink jersey with three stages remaining to just 22nd overall.

But his win Vuelta win now means British riders currently hold all three Grand Tour titles; Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas having won the Tour and Chris Froome the Vuelta.

 

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