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Vuelta Stage 18: Nicolas Roche wins from break

Team Sky rider holds off Trek's Haimar Zubeldia; Tom Dumoulin keeps race lead...

Team Sky’s Nicolas Roche has won the second Vuelta stage of his career, holding off fellow escapee Haimar Zubeldia of Trek Factory Racing to win Stage 18 of the 70th edition of the race in Riaza.

The Irish rider attacked from the break on the final climb of the 204 kilometre stage from Roa, only Zubeldia able to go with him.

The Trek Factory Racing rider was in Roche’s slipstream approaching the line, but the Team Sky rider proved strong enough to hold him off.

His previous highest finish in a Grand Tour stage came in the 2009 Tour de France when came second in Stage 14 from Colmar to Besancon.

Riding then for AG2R-La Mondiale, Roche led the chasing group home 16 seconds behind that day’s winner, Serguei Ivanov of Katusha.

On the last climb of today’s stage, the Alto de la Quesera, crested 13 kilometres out, Astana’s Fabio Aru, 3 seconds behind race leader Tom Dumoulin on the General Classification, tried to put the Giant-Alpecin rider under pressure.

The Dutch rider countered to defend his lead, and that remains the margin between them tonight.

With Wouter Poels winning Stage 5 of the Aviva Tour of Britain this afternoon, Roche's win also completed a great day for Team Sky.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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SR2 | 8 years ago

Tom Dumoulin is an absolute power house. Surprised he hasn't won more stages! Have yet to see his TT from yesterday but he smashed the competition.

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