Yates protects lead, poised to win Spanish Vuelta
English rider Simon Yates is poised to win his first Grand Tour title after he successfully defended his lead in the Spanish Vuelta through Saturday’s 20th stage.
Yates will take his advantage of 1 minute, 46 seconds, over Enric Mas into the final stage, when race custom dictates the riders don’t attack the race leaders on the traditional arrival to Madrid.
“I’ve made it! It’s still sinking in,” said Yates, who rides for Mitchelton-Scott.
“I’m incredibly proud. I’m also incredibly proud of the team. They’ve carried me for these entire three weeks. It’s the first Grand Tour for the team. It’s just unbelievable.”
Mas moved into second place overall with the stage victory. The Spaniard edged Miguel Angel Lopez of Colombia in the short but incredibly demanding 60mile route in the tiny nation of Andorra tucked in the Pyrenees. Riders faced a constant up-and-down route over six categorized climbs including a finish atop the beyond-category Coll de la Gallina.