Vuelta a España: Simon Yates seals overall win

Enric Mas (Quick Step Floors) won the final mountain stage of the Vuelta a Espana, outsprinting Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) to the top of the Coll de la Gallina in Andorra. Race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton Scott) put his final stamp on the race, coming in third at 23 seconds to effectively seal the overall win.

Yates confirmed his domination of the race, staying near the front of affairs and making sure he was never in danger. The rest of the GC saw a major reshuffle, as Mas and Lopez moved up to claim second and third, replacing Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Steven.

The GC saw Yates extend his lead with Mas at 1:46, and Lopez third at 2:04. Kruijswijk and Valverde were fourth and fifth. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) lost more time but hung on for 8th place, while Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) clawed his way up to 10th.

Yates had the race under control all day. Supported by his team at first, and then by twin brother Adam, he was on his own in the finale, but never wavered for a moment. Even when he fell back from Mas and Lopez, it was more his decision to let them go rather than that he was not able to go with them.

"The last week, every day I looked at the video from when Valverde won here in 2012, and I was thinking I need to sprint before into the corner, and then the last 50m full gas," Mas said. "I did like this - I did full gas before the corner and then I went full, full, full."

Is he the next Contador? "No, I'm Enric Mas. I hope one day maybe I can have half of his victories, but I'm Enric Mas."

As for Yates, he will become the third British Grand Tour winner of 2018 when he completes tomorrow's final stage. After crumbling in the final week of the Giro d'Italia he has come back and proven his credentials.

"Finally, I think it's sinking in. I'm incredibly proud, and incredibly proud of the team also. They carried me through the entire three weeks. It's the first GT for the team - it's just unbelievable," he said.

On today's stage, he said: "Adam [Yates] was running out of legs and I didn't want to be in the position where I was riding through the valley to the final climb. I think that could have been the worse situation possible. I knew that Lopez and Quintana were up the road, and Lopez especially had something to gain, so I knew he'd maybe work with me."

"As they say, sometimes attack is the best form of defence."

"In the last climb I was OK, I was really at my limit. Lopez and Mas they were really incredible in the final. I just tried to make my own rhythm. That was it, really. I gave it everything I had and thankfully it was enough."

How it unfolded

There was barely a flat meter on today's short stage, and the attacks started just after the neutral zone. Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal) was the first to succeed, jumping to take the maximum points on the first climb, the cat. 2 Coll de Comella, which came 5.6km after the start.

On the descent Vincenzo Nibali jumped from the field and soon a group of 15 formed around him with Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Dario Cataldo, Omar Fraile (Astana), Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing Team), Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team), Amanuel Ghebreigzhaber (Dimension Data), Michael Woods (Education First-Drapac), David De La Cruz, Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Jose and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis).

Mollema tried to get away 5km from the top of the day's second climb, the cat.1 Coll de Beixalis, but was caught. Some two minutes back, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) tried to jump from the red jersey group. Once again, de Gendt took off in search of points, with Nibali, Majka, Woods, Kwiatkowski and Mollema in pursuit.

The five chasers caught De Gendt with 72km to go and a gap of 2:32 on the pack.

A group of nine formed behind the six leaders with Dario Cataldo, Omar Fraile (Astana), Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing Team), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Amanuel Ghebreigzhaber (Dimension Data), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha Alpecin), David de la Cruz (Team Sky), Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis).
The two groups came together on the ascent of the Coll de Ordino.

Lopez on the march

Astana had taken control of the chasing group but it was Herrada who jumped from the break, hitting the summit first on the next climb, with the field some 1:30 back. The Spaniard, who wore the leader's red jersey for two days earlier in the race, stayed away from the chasers for much of the long descent, with the peloton coming closer and closer on the Coll de Beixalis.

With less than 40km to go, the lead group shattered into groups on the climb, and the red jersey group started falling apart as well, with Astana continuing to push the pace. Up front it was Kwiatkowski, de la Cruz, Majka and Mollema, while Lopez took off with Astana teammates Dario Cataldo and Omar Fraile.

With 36km left, Lopez had moved up to the first chase group with Nibali and Cataldo. Yates had by this point only his twin brother Adam to support him.

Duty done, Cataldo soon sat up as the Lopez group continued to chase Majka and de la Cruz. The catch was made shortly before the summit, and a select group around the red jersey joined them as well.

Quintana attacked on the descent, while there were less than 15 riders in the red jersey group. Once again, the road soon started heading up, this time tackling the Coll de la Comella for the second time.

With 20km (and two climbs) to go, Quintana and Lopez took the lead. Nibali had to drop out of the chase group, which now held Yates, Valverde, Kruijswijk, Mas, Pinot, Uran, Izagirre, Buchmann, Kelderman, Majka and Brambilla.

Yates took off with 17km to go, looking to prove his domination of the stage and race, with only Mas able to go with him. They soon had the two Colombians in their sights and the catch was made with just over 13km left.

That left only one more obstacle: the Hors Category closing climb, the Coll de la Gollina.

The four leaders had 30 seconds as they headed into the finale, with Quintana almost immediately falling behind. Mas and Lopez pulled ahead, with Yates continuing to ride his own rhythm and not afraid of losing his overall lead. The two leaders soon had 11 seconds on Yates, and 48 seconds on the group with Valverde an Kruijswijk. Mas and Lopez looked to get as much time as possible and replace those two on the podium. Valverde helped their case by falling back from the group, with a sad picture of him and Quintana alone in the back.

Kruijswijk, seeing his podium place slip away, took off in a bid to retain it. Mas and Lopez, assured of success, took it easy in the closing meters. They sprinted up to the finish line, with Mas taking the win.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors2:59:30
2Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:23
4Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:54
5Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:00:57
6Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb0:01:11
7Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:15
8David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky0:02:17
9Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:03:09
10Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:03:44
12Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:04:25
13Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:04:47
14Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension Data0:04:58
15Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 14 - Cell 2
16Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:08
17Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:31
18Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 17 - Cell 2
19Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 18 - Cell 2
20Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:05:45
21Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:05:55
22Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:06:07
23Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 22 - Cell 2
24Jai Hindley (Aus) Team SunwebRow 23 - Cell 2
25Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:07:09
26Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:44
27Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:08:32
28Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:09:23
29Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension DataRow 28 - Cell 2
30Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 29 - Cell 2
31Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:10:13
32Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:10:42
33Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:11:28
34Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:11:38
35Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 34 - Cell 2
36Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 35 - Cell 2
37Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos BH0:11:42
38Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:12:00
39Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:12:09
40Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data0:12:10
41Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 40 - Cell 2
42Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:12:28
43Daniel Moreno (Spa) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:12:48
44Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 43 - Cell 2
45Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 44 - Cell 2
46José Mendes (Por) Burgos BH0:12:52
47Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team0:12:59
48Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin0:13:08
49Stephane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 48 - Cell 2
50Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:13:14
51Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:13:21
52Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:13:23
54Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 53 - Cell 2
55Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:13:42
56Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team Sunweb0:14:32
57Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team0:14:51
58Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:15:19
59Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb0:15:25
60Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:15:41
61Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data0:15:58
62Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:19:55
63Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 62 - Cell 2
64Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team0:19:57
65Sergio Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 64 - Cell 2
66Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 65 - Cell 2
67Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos BH0:21:18
68Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-AlpecinRow 67 - Cell 2
69Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 68 - Cell 2
70Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 69 - Cell 2
71Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team SkyRow 70 - Cell 2
72Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 71 - Cell 2
73Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Sepp Kuss (USA) LottoNL-JumboRow 73 - Cell 2
75Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 74 - Cell 2
76Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 75 - Cell 2
77Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 76 - Cell 2
78Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 77 - Cell 2
79Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 78 - Cell 2
80Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 80 - Cell 2
82Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 81 - Cell 2
83Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 82 - Cell 2
84Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 83 - Cell 2
85Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-AlpecinRow 84 - Cell 2
86Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 85 - Cell 2
87Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 87 - Cell 2
89Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 88 - Cell 2
90Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension DataRow 89 - Cell 2
91Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 90 - Cell 2
92Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 91 - Cell 2
93Léo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 92 - Cell 2
94Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 93 - Cell 2
95Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb0:21:51
97Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:21:59
98Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:22:01
99Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:22:20
100Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos BH0:22:39
101Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:22:43
102George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo0:22:56
103Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos BH0:23:13
104Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:24:29
105Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 104 - Cell 2
106Aritz Bagues Kalparsoro (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 105 - Cell 2
107Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 106 - Cell 2
108Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:24:37
109Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:25:02
110Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:25:05
111Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ0:25:14
112Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:25:18
113Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:25:22
114Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:25:46
115Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:26:34
116Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos BH0:27:12
117Floris De Tier (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo0:28:24
118Pablo Torres Muiño (Spa) Burgos BH0:28:40
119Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 118 - Cell 2
120Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:29:31
121Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:29:42
122Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:29:45
123Thomas Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:29:52
124Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team0:30:40
125Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott0:31:59
126Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 125 - Cell 2
127Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:32:21
128Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team SkyRow 127 - Cell 2
129Antonio Molina Canet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 128 - Cell 2
130Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 129 - Cell 2
131Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-ScottRow 130 - Cell 2
132Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 131 - Cell 2
133Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 132 - Cell 2
134Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 133 - Cell 2
135Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 134 - Cell 2
136Max Walscheid (Ger) Team SunwebRow 135 - Cell 2
137Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 136 - Cell 2
138Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 137 - Cell 2
139Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 138 - Cell 2
140Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 139 - Cell 2
141Nelson Andres Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 140 - Cell 2
142Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 141 - Cell 2
143Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-ScottRow 142 - Cell 2
144Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 143 - Cell 2
145Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 144 - Cell 2
146Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 145 - Cell 2
147Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 146 - Cell 2
148Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension DataRow 147 - Cell 2
149Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:32:29
150Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:32:32
151Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 150 - Cell 2
152Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:32:36
153Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:32:38
154Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:32:50
155Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step FloorsRow 154 - Cell 2
156Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 155 - Cell 2
157Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step FloorsRow 156 - Cell 2
158Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo0:32:55
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Intermediate sprint - La Massana, km. 30.2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe4pts
2Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors25pts
2Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo9Row 6 - Cell 3
8David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension Data2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 2) Coll de la Comella, km. 5.6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal5pts
2Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2 (Cat. 1) Coll de Beixalis, km. 19.7
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal10pts
2Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale1Row 4 - Cell 3
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Mountain 3 (Cat. 1) Coll de Ordino, km. 42.3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits10pts
2Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team1Row 4 - Cell 3
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Mountain 4 (Cat. 1) Coll de Beixalis, km. 64.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo10pts
2Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team1Row 4 - Cell 3
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