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Vuelta a Espana 2015 Stage 18

photo credit @ Team Sky

Nicolas Roche (Sky) claimed stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana, after outsprinting his breakaway companion, Haimar Zubeldia (Trek Factory Racing), on the line in Riaza today.

With 20 kilometers remaining, the Sky rider fought his way over the day’s final climb, alongside Haimar Zubeldia (Trek Factory Racing).

From there, the race became a battle between the two riders, with Roche emerging as the victor. 

“Zubeldia is very strong and very experienced,” said Roche. “I’ve lost sprints before so I wanted to start the sprint to control the situation. It was a hard for me in this Vuelta because I came here with a lot aspirations, but I really suffered with some crashes. It was not easy to stay in the race but I wanted to try to win a stage. It was complicated, but it worked out today.”

Meanwhile, despite numerous attacks from his GC rivals, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) managed to retain his overall lead by a narrow three-second gap over Fabio Aru (Astana).

Earlier in the stage, Aru attacked Dumoulin no fewer than six times on the final climb of the Puerto de la Quesera, but the Giant-Alpecin rider was able to counter the Italian’s move on each occasion, and even launched a few attacks of his own along the descent to the finish.

Jose Goncalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) rounded out today’s podium in third place at 18 seconds back, followed by GC favorite, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), in fourth. 

Stage 18 Results
IRL 1 ROCHE, Nicolas (SKY) 5:03:59
ESP 2 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK FACTORY RACING)
POR 3 GONÇALVES, José (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA) + 18
ESP 4 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 38
COL 5 CHAVES RUBIO, Johan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE)
ESP 6 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquim (KATUSHA)
BEL 7 SERRY, Pieter (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
AUS 8 HANSEN, Adam (LOTTO SOUDAL)
ITA 9 BRAMBILLA, Gianluca (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
ITA 10 POZZOVIVO, Domenico (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
ITA 11 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA)
POL 12 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF – SAXO)
POR 13 CARDOSO, Andre Fernando S. Martins (CANNONDALE – GARMIN)
ESP 14 NIEVE ITURALDE, Mikel (SKY)
NED 15 DUMOULIN, Tom (GIANT – ALPECIN)
BEL 16 DE CLERCQ, Bart (LOTTO SOUDAL)
RSA 17 MEINTJES, Louis (MTN – QHUBEKA)
ESP 18 ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin (MOVISTAR)
COL 19 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR)
ESP 20 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (KATUSHA)
COL 21 ATAPUMA HURTADO, Darwin (BMC RACING)
POL 22 POLJANSKI, Pawel (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 45
FRA 23 JEANDESBOZ, Fabrice (EUROPCAR) + 1:21
NED 24 ROOSEN, Timo (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
RUS 25 VORGANOV, Eduard (KATUSHA)
ITA 26 VISCONTI, Giovanni (MOVISTAR)
ESP 27 MADRAZO RUIZ, Angel (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA)
CRO 28 DURASEK, Kristijan (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
FRA 29 COURTEILLE, Arnaud (FDJ)
FRA 30 COUSIN, Jerome (EUROPCAR) + 1:23
FRA 31 ROSSETTO, Stéphane (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS) + 2:17
FRA 32 ELISSONDE, Kenny (FDJ)
ESP 33 BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA, Pello (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA)
ESP 34 VERONA QUINTANILLA, Carlos (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
ESP 35 ARROYO DURAN, David (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA)
GER 36 DEGENKOLB, John (GIANT – ALPECIN)
COL 37 RUBIANO CHAVEZ, Miguel Angel (COLOMBIA)
ITA 38 CATALDO, Dario (ASTANA)
POR 39 SANTOS SIMOES OLIVEIRA, Nelson Filipe (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
FRA 40 GAUTIER, Cyril (EUROPCAR)

General Classification after Stage 18
NED 1 DUMOULIN, Tom (GIANT – ALPECIN) 73:45:13
ITA 2 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA) + 3
ESP 3 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquim (KATUSHA) + 1:15
POL 4 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 2:22
COL 5 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) + 2:53
ESP 6 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 3:15
COL 7 CHAVES RUBIO, Johan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 3:30
ESP 8 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (KATUSHA) + 3:46
ESP 9 NIEVE ITURALDE, Mikel (SKY) + 4:10
RSA 10 MEINTJES, Louis (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 6:51
ITA 11 POZZOVIVO, Domenico (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 7:41
ITA 12 BRAMBILLA, Gianluca (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 10:47
FRA 13 JEANDESBOZ, Fabrice (EUROPCAR) + 13:15
BEL 14 DE CLERCQ, Bart (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 13:38
FRA 15 SICARD, Romain (EUROPCAR) + 18:06
FRA 16 ELISSONDE, Kenny (FDJ) + 18:21
POR 17 CARDOSO, Andre Fernando S. Martins (CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 19:37
FRA 18 ROSSETTO, Stéphane (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS) + 21:55
ESP 19 ARROYO DURAN, David (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA) + 30:04
ITA 20 VISCONTI, Giovanni (MOVISTAR) + 35:46

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