SIMON YATES has become the third Brit to win one of cycling’s Grand Tour races within the last year by winning Spain La Vuelta pro cycle race.
Team Sky’s Chris Froome is the current holder of the Giro d’Italia title and his teammate Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France.
The 26-year-old Mitchelton-Scott team rider’s victory is also the fifth consecutive win for a British cyclist in a Grand Tour event, as Chris Froome was the previous winner of La Vuelta and the Tour.
The final stage of La Vuelta 2018 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).
Yates, from Bury, Greater Manchester, made it through the stage without problems and is the overall winner of La Vuelta.
Traditionally, the leading rider is not challenged in the final stage. The overall leader wears a red jersey, the equivalent to the yellow in the Tour de France.
Yates said: “It’s still hard to believe that I’ve won La Vuelta.
“I was disappointed to not win the Giro but I’ve made it up. I’m in shock.
“I got really nervous when I went on stage. My natural habitat is on the bike… I enjoyed the moment. It was a very special one.”
Yates, has a twin brother Adam, who is also a professional cyclist and was placed fourth overall in the Tour de France in 2016.
Spain’s annual national cycle race had set off from Malaga on the Costa del Sol on August 25 with the first of 21 stages that covered a total distance of 3,254.7 kilometres (2,022 miles).