MADRID (Reuters) – Simon Yates won the Vuelta a Espana title on Sunday to complete an unprecedented hat-trick of British Grand Tour winners in 2018.
Yates, 26, successfully defended his lead of one minute 46 seconds over second-placed Enric Mas of Spain in the final stage of the 21-day race, a mostly processional 100.9km ride through Madrid which was won by Italian Eli Viviani.
Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez finished third overall, two minutes four seconds behind, joining Mas and Yates in taking a first podium place at a Grand Tour.
Yates, 26, became the virtual winner of the Vuelta after finishing third in Saturday’s penultimate stage in the mountains of Andorra, making up for his collapse towards the end of the Giro D’Italia after wearing the pink jersey in 13 stages.
He delivered a first Grand Tour victory for the Australian-owned Mitchelton-Scott team and completed a cycle of British victories in the three Grand Tours this year after Chris Froome won the Giro in May and Geraint Thomas captured the Tour de France in July.
Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond