Vuelta a Espana 2018: Simon Yates maintains overall classification lead

Simon Yates

Great Britain’s Simon Yates maintained his overall classification lead at the Vuelta a Espana as Canada’s Michael Woods won the 17th stage.

Yates’ lead over Alejandro Valverde was cut by eight seconds to a 25-second margin after the 157km road race from Getxo to Alto del Balcon de Bizkaia.

In thick fog, Woods, riding for the EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale team, took the win.

Belgium’s Dylan Teuns came second, with Spain’s David De La Cruz third.

After the race, an emotional Woods said: “My wife and I lost our son, she had a still birth and it was a really tough time. I told her that I wanted to win for him and I did – I can’t describe how happy I am right now.”

Woods, who finished seventh overall in the 2017 Vuelta, broke clear with 800m to go to take his first stage victory in the summit finish.

“I thought I had less than 800m to go, but you could not see anything up the road,” added Woods.

“Dylan Teuns was riding super strong and there were a couple of times where I thought I didn’t have it but I managed to hold on. This is probably my favourite region in racing.”

The 18th of 21 stages takes place on Thursday over 186.1km from Ejea de los Caballeros to Lleida with the race finishing on Sunday.

Yates is aiming to become only the second Briton to win the Vuelta after Chris Froome’s success in 2017, while Spain’s Valverde is aiming to win the Vuelta for a second time after victory in 2009.

Stage 17 result

1 Michael Woods (Can/EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) 4hrs 9mins 48secs

2 Dylan Teuns (Bel/BMC Racing Team) +5secs

3 David De La Cruz (Spa/Team Sky) +10secs

4 Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) +13secs

5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus/Katusha-Alpecin) +38secs

6 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita/BMC Racing Team) +44secs

7 Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri/Dimension Data) +48secs

8 Jesus Herrada (Spa/Cofidis, Solutions Credits) +51secs

9 Jai Hindley (Aus/Team Sunweb) +55secs

10 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 4secs

General classification

1 Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) 69hrs 5mins 34secs

2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) +25secs

3 Enric Mas (Spa/Quick-Step Floors) +1min 22secs

4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana Pro Team) +1min 36secs

5 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/LottoNL-Jumbo) +1min 48secs

6 Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team) +2mins 11secs

7 Ion Izagirre (Spa/Bahrain-Merida) +4mins 9secs

8 Rigoberto Uran (Col)/EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) +4mins 36secs

9 Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +5mins 31mins

10 Tony Gallopin (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) +6mins 5secs

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BBC Sport – Cycling

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