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Vuelta a Espana: Stage 18 highlights - Video

Sander Armee on the Vuelta podium after winning stage 18

Sander Armee on the Vuelta podium after winning stage 18 (Image credit: Michael Aisner)

Sander Armee (Lotto Soudal) took his first professional win Thursday during stage 18 at the Vuelta a Espana, surviving from the day-long escape and then dropping final breakaway companion Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) in the closing kilometres of the final climb to win solo by 31 seconds.

In the race for the general classification, Chris Froome (Team Sky) withstood multiple attacks from an always-aggressive Alberto Contador (Trek-Seagfredo) and then put an extra 21 seconds into overall runner-up Vincenzo Nibali with three stages remaining. The GC group finished more than 10 minutes behind Armee, while Fabio Aru went on a long-range attacks with hopes of climbing the general classification ladder. In the end, however, Aru was just 12 second ahead of the Froome group at the finish and climbed just one spot to eighth.