Vuelta a Espana: Wallays wins stage 18

Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal) lets out a roar of celebration

Jelle Wallays ( Lotto Soudal ) won stage 18 of the Vuelta a España following a breathless finale in Lleida that saw him out-sprint breakaway companion Sven Erik Bystrom (UAE Team Emirates) just as the peloton was bearing down upon them in the finishing straight. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) opted to open his sprint from a distance in a desperate attempt to catch the escapees, but although the world champion's effort was a prodigious one, he had to settle for third place on the same time as Wallays. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) placed 4th ahead of Ivan Garcia (Bahrain-Merida). On a transitional day that was expected to peter out into a bunch sprint, Wallays, Bystrom and fellow escapee Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) – who was dropped from the break with 7km to go – defied all expectations to pull off a remarkable heist in Catalonia. The trio escaped after just 3km, and ...

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