Wallays denies the sprinters to win stage 18 of the Vuelta

Jelle Wallays wins stage 18 vuelta a espana 2018

Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal) held his nerve Thursday to win the 18th stage of the Vuelta a Espana, with Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retaining his overall lead.

Wallays held off sag (UAE Team Emirates), with world champion Peter Sagan coming third in a strong finish by the chasing peloton.

Yates remained 25 seconds ahead of his nearest rival Alejandro Valverde, in the general classification. Another Spaniard, Enric Mas stayed in third, 1min 22sec behind the red jersey.

“It was ok today until the final, it was very fast because of the wind and that made it hard, but for the rest it was a nice day and probably the easiest of the race so far. I am looking forward to tomorrow now,” said Yates.

“I was just trying to (be) safe with my positioning in the final, there was quite a lot of roundabouts coming into town and up near the front is the safest place to be. I wasn’t thinking of bonus seconds.”

Friday’s 19th stage is a mountainous 154.4km ride from Lerida to the Naturlandia nature park in Andorra.

“It’s going to be very difficult over the next couple of days, but we will try,” the Briton said. “I know the roads, so maybe that will help a little bit, but it is going to be very difficult and I will give it my best shot.”

Wallays was left happy his risk-taking paid off, praising ex-French rider Thomas Voeckler for his words of wisdom after the duo had shared a sprint finish, won by the Frenchman, back on the Paris-Tours in 2014.

“Today I applied a lot of the advice he gave me: stay cool, ride quietly because everybody wants a sprint,” the 29-year-old Belgian said.

“I put all my cards on the table, I had no fear of losing. I was already happy to have put on a show for the public in the last kilometre.”

Vuelta a Espana 2018 – stage 18 results (Ejea de los Caballeros – Lleida):

1 Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal)


2 Sven Erik Bystrøm (UAE Team Emirates)


3 Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)


4 Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)


5 Ivan Garcia (Bahrain-Merida)


6 Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo)


7 Ion Aberasturi Izaga (Euskadi-Murias)


8 Tom Van Asbroeck (EF Education First-Drapac)


9 Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)


10 Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data)


11 Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates)


12 Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)


13 Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto Soudal)


14 Jay McCarthy (Bora-hansgrohe)


15 Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida)


16 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


17 Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb)


18 Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale)


19 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)


20 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)



General classification after stage 18:

1 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)


2 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


3 Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors)


4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)


5 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo)


6 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


7 Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida)


8 Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac)


9 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ)


10 Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale)


11 Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe)


12 Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)


13 David De La Cruz (Team Sky)


14 Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)


15 Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo)


16 Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott)


17 Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ)


18 Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates)


19 Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi-Murias)


20 Richard Carapaz (Movistar)



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