Simon Yates sealed victory in La Vuelta on this day in 2018 to complete a British clean sweep of the year’s Grand Tours.

The 26-year-old Bury racer headed into the largely processional final stage into Madrid with a one minute and 46 seconds lead and avoided any late mishaps to land his first Grand Tour title.

Yates’ success followed that of Chris Froome at the Giro d’Italia and Geraint Thomas at the Tour de France to round off an unprecedented year for British cycling.

The three titles had never before been held by three riders from the same country.

Yates said: “It’s astonishing really. Growing up I was so accustomed to seeing the French, Italian and Spanish riders lead the way, so for myself, Chris and Geraint to all win a Grand Tour in the same year just shows how far the sport has come in this country.”

Froome, whose Tour-Vuelta double in 2017 meant British riders had at that point won five Grand Tours in a row, paid tribute to Yates’ achievement, saying: “Simon has looked so strong over the last three weeks and it’s great to see him take home the maillot rojo. It’s been a perfect year for British riders.”

Adam Yates beat twin brother Simon to victory on the opening day of the Tour de France to take the yellow jersey and his first Grand Tour stage win in Bilbao.

With their parents out on course, the 30-year-old twins relived the countless times they raced each other on training rides around the roads of Lancashire as youngsters before Adam got the better of Simon on the short rise to the finish.

The pair, riding for rival teams, went clear from a select group at the top of the Cote de Pike, 10km from the finish of a testing 182km stage around the Basque Country, as Adam’s UAE Emirates team-mate Tadej Pogacar and his main rival, defending champion Jonas Vingegaard, eyed each other up.

The twins opened up a 20-second gap on the chasing group as they descended into Bilbao before, as Jayco-Alula’s Simon said he began to suffer with cramp, Adam opened up several bike lengths to take the win.

Back in 2011, Andy Schleck took a stage win on the Galibier ahead of brother Frank but that was by a margin of more than two minutes. Here there were only four seconds as Simon watched Adam raise his arms in celebration.

“Honestly, I don’t even know what to say,” Adam said. “We tried to set the climb up for Tadej, he attacked but then it was a headwind on the descent. My brother came across to me and we started to work together.

“At first I didn’t know if I should work with him, I asked on the radio and they said, ‘Go for it’. I’m speechless. I knew he was going good, I speak to him every day. My brother and I are close and to share this experience with him is really nice.”

Adam is back in yellow after enjoying four days as leader in 2020. Simon is a two-time stage winner in the Tour but the 2018 Vuelta a Espana winner has never worn the leader’s jersey in cycling’s biggest race.

“I’m pleased for him of course, his first Grand Tour stage so I’m ecstatic for him but I also wanted to win,” Simon said. “We’re quite competitive…I have a fantastic relationships with my brother. I’m really happy for him but I’ll stick it to him in the coming days.”

This undulating stage through the Basque Country, one of the most difficult opening stages to a Tour in recent history, left itself open to a host of possibilities. Everyone from the general classification contenders to Classics specialists to strong sprinters had been tipped for victory.

It came down to the GC riders on the decisive final climb, with Pogacar and Vingegaard to the fore towards the summit before the Yates twins went away.

Pogacar has played up the doubts about his fitness given he has raced only once – winning last weekend’s Slovenian national road race – since breaking his wrist in April, but the road provided a more definitive answer as he set the fastest time up the Pike.

“I’m really happy with the performance,” said Pogacar, who led home a chasing group 12 seconds after Yates. “I think the engine started running today. The final climb was super happy but I was satisfied with the shape.”

With bonus seconds applied, Adam leads by eight seconds from Simon, with Pogacar 18 seconds down in third. Vingegaard is among a host of riders a further four seconds back.

Adam Yates started the day dismissing suggestions he was co-leader alongside Pogacar given the questions over the latter’s wrist, but whatever happens over the next three weeks Yates has already had a race to remember.

“Really I just want to keep my feet on the ground,” he said. “We’re here for Tadej, he’s the boss, he’s shown before he’s the best in the world and over the next few weeks I’m sure he’s going to show that again.”

Team-BikeExchange-Jayco leader Simon Yates was forced to withdraw from the Vuelta a Espana due to COVID-19, though team-mate Kaden Groves took the stage 11 win on Wednesday.

The 2018 Vuelta winner Yates was in fifth place after the first 10 stages of this year's race but has had to pull out, just as he did in the Giro d'Italia earlier this year due to a knee injury.

Ninth-placed Ineos Grenadiers rider Pavel Sivakov was also required to withdraw after returning a positive coronavirus test.

Groves put a positive spin on the day for Yates' team, though, securing the win in Cabo de Gata after seeing off competition in a bunch sprint, finishing ahead of Danny van Poppel of Bora-Hansgrohe and Tim Merlier of Alpecin-Deceuninck.

"It feels fantastic," Groves said. "This morning with the news of Simon going positive for COVID-19, all the boys were disappointed. It's the best way to bounce back after such bad news."

The 23-year-old became the first BikeExchange rider to win a La Vuelta stage since Yates in 2018.

Elsewhere, world road champion Julian Alaphilippe's competition is over after he was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone following a crash.

It leaves Alaphilippe's defence of his title at next month's World Championships in Wollongong in doubt.

Evenepoel maintains gap at the top

Remco Evenepoel is the first under-23 rider to lead La Vuelta for six or more stages since Dietrich Thurau in 1976 (six).

The gap to the lead remained unchanged as none of the frontrunners in the general classification troubled the stage leaders on Wednesday.


1. Kaden Groves (BikeExchange-Jayco) 5:03:14
2. Danny van Poppel (Bora-Hansgrohe) same time
3. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Deceuninck) same time
4. Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates) same time
5. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) same time


General Classification

1. Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 39:39:04
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +2:41
3. Enric Mas (Movistar) +3:03

Points Classification

1. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) 184
2. Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 85
3. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) 81

King of the Mountains

1. Jay Vine (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 40
2. Robert Stannard (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 21
3. Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 17

Simon Yates did not want to put "a downer" on his stage 14 victory at the Giro d'Italia but is far from satisfied with his overall race. 

Yates was seen as one of the contenders for the maglia rosa heading into the first Grand Tour of 2022 but the Briton is way down in 17th place in the general classification standings, 18 minutes and 44 seconds off new race leader Richard Carapaz. 

Team BikeExchange-Jayco rider Yates, who won the individual time trial in Budapest on stage two, finished 15 seconds ahead of second-placed Jai Hindley on a day that threw the race wide open. 

Yates latched onto a chasing pack that caught up with INEOS Grenadiers rider and 2019 Giro winner Carapaz, who had made a break with 28 kilometres remaining in Saturday's 147km route from Santena to Turin – the first of four consecutive mountain stages. 

Hindley and Vincenzo Nibali, who is racing in his final Giro, were the initial chasers, but Yates – whose GC hopes were all but ended when he dropped 11 minutes on the Blockhaus climb on stage nine – had the momentum to cruise to victory. 

While Yates was delighted with a sixth Giro stage win of his career, he could not help but be frustrated by being so far off the pace overall. 

"I mean, not to put a downer on the day, but I came here to win the race," the 29-year-old said. "For me, it's another stage. I have five already and it's number six. 

"I hope the legs stay as good as today. Today was a really big effort, not just for me but for everybody. The gaps are enormous, so if this heat sticks around it's going to be a very hard final week." 

A bad day for Lopez

Juan Pedro Lopez wore pink for 10 straight days but Saturday's stage was always likely to prove crucial and he went from holding a 12-second lead to ninth place, four minutes and four seconds behind Carapraz. 

The experienced Ecuadorian attacked at just the right time for the GC standings, even if he was unable to hold on for the stage win.  


1. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) 3:43:44 
2. Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe) +0:15 
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:15 
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan Team) +0:15 
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:28 


General Classification  

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 58:21:28 
2. Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe) +0:07 
3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:30 

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 238 
2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 121 
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 117 

King of the Mountains  

1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 92 
2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69 
3. Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe) 62 

Simon Yates claimed his fifth win at the Giro d'Italia as he triumphed in the short time-trial stage two in Budapest on Saturday.

Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma), who managed silver at the 2020 Olympics, produced a breathless ride to displace Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco) with the first time trial under 12 minutes on the 9.2-kilometre course.

However, Dumoulin soon relinquished his lead when Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) breezed across the finish line in 11:50, five seconds faster than the 2017 Giro winner's initial benchmark.

Race leader Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) completed the time check just a second slower than Yates, but ultimately fell three seconds short of a second consecutive stage victory.

Dutchman Van der Poel, sporting the pink jersey after collecting stage-one honours in Visegrad, retains the Maglia Rosa, while Brit Yates climbs to second in the general classification standings.

While many suggested victory at stage two would lay down a marker for the rest of his competitors, Yates insists there is a long way to go in Italy.

"It doesn't really change anything for me, of course, really happy with the win but it was only a 12-minute effort," he told reporters.

"It's not going to be won over these 12 minutes I don't think, the next stages are going to be really different so let's stay calm and see what the next couple of days hold."

Yates was also quick to credit his team for their work.

"We put a lot of hard work into improving our equipment, looking back to October and November, we were really working hard on it and now we are seeing the results from it," he added.

"I have to thank our sponsors, they really helped me to get into a great position in the winter to refine that on the road, as well as help from my team."

Van der Poel keeps Maglia Rosa

Yates may have done significant early damage to his general classification rivals, but Van der Poel will keep the pink jersey. The Alpecin-Fenix rider becomes the third Dutchman to sport the Maglia Rosa in the first two stages after Erik Breukink in 1987 and Dumoulin in 2016.


1.Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco): 11:50

2.Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): +0:03

3.Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma): +0:05

4.Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco): +0:13

5.Ben Tulett (Ineos Grenadiers): +0:13


General Classification

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 4:47:11

2. Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) +0:11

3. Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) +0:16

Points Classification

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 62

2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 35

3. Peio Bilbao Lopez de Armentia (Bahrain Victorious) 25

King of the Mountains

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 3

2. Rick Zabel (Israel-Premier Tech) 3

3. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 2

Simon Yates went solo to win stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia but Egan Bernal increased his overall lead with two days to go.

Yates showed he is still very much up for the fight in the battle for the maglia rosa on Friday, climbing to victory in Alpe di Mera.

Englishman Yates went on his own six-and-a-half kilometres from the end of the lung-busting 166 km ride from Abbiategrasso and had more than enough in the legs to pull away.

The Team BikeExchange rider moved two minutes and 49 seconds adrift of Bernal, who crossed the line in third place behind Joao Almeida.

Bernal edged his advantage over second-placed Damiano Caruso in the general classification up to two minutes and 29 seconds, but Yates made another statement ahead of a brutal penultimate stage in the mountains on Saturday.

The Colombian initially reacted well when Yates surged away on a steep final ascent to the finish, but was then clearly suffering.

A fourth Giro stage win for Yates, adding to the three he won in 2018, leaves the race nicely poised ahead of such a tough stage 20 at high altitude and a time trial to finish on Sunday.

INEOS Grenadiers rider Bernal was left to fend for himself with 2.4km to go as Daniel Martinez was unable to stay with him and had to dig in two days after Yates also made time on him in the mountains.

Yates said: "I'm really happy. The team did a great job right from the start of the stage, a fantastic team effort and I'm happy to have finished it off.

"I really wanted to win a stage in this Giro, I'm not sure where I am now in the general classification but I'm really happy about this win."



1. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) 4:02:55
2. Joao Almeida (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) +00:11
3. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:04
4. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious)
5. Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana–Premier Tech)


General Classification

1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 77:10:18
2. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +02:29
3. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) +02:49

Points Classification

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 135
2. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) 113
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Emirates) 110

King of the Mountains

1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 180
2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 121
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 83

Dan Martin went solo to claim a maiden Giro d'Italia stage victory and leader Egan Bernal finally showed signs of weakness on a brutal final climb.

Martin moved away on his own just over 10 kilometres from the end of the gruelling 193km stage 17 from Canazei to Sega di Ala and there was no catching the Irishman.

The Israel Start-Up Nation rider was the only member of a breakaway group, which had included eight men at one point, who was not reeled in.

Martin's victory completed a Grand Tour clean sweep, with two Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana successes already to his name.

He finished 13 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida and crossed the finishing line 30 seconds before Simon Yates, who showed he is still very much up for the fight in the battle for the maglia rosa.

Bernal had won stage 16 in impressive fashion on Monday, but looked in trouble on steep sections on a long final ascent in the maglia rosa.

The INEOS Grenadiers had to grit his teeth as Yates shot up the mountain in front of him, yet is still in a strong position with an advantage of two minutes and 21 seconds over Damiano Caruso.

Yates moved into third place overall, with three minutes and 23 seconds to make up on the 2019 Tour de France champion from Colombia.

Bernal has been troubled by a lingering back injury and had to really dig in, with great support from team-mate Daniel Martinez, as Yates made a statement in the final week of the race.

Hugh Carthy dropped off the podium to fifth as he suffered late on another hugely challenging day.



1. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 4:54:38
2. Joao Almeida (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) +00:13
3. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) +00:30
4. Diego Ulissi (UAE Emirates) +01:20
5. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +01:20


General Classification

1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 71:32:05
2. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +02:21
3. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) +03:23

Points Classification

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 135
2. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) 113
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Emirates) 110

King of the Mountains

1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 180
2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 109
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 79

INEOS Grenadiers started the defence of their Giro d'Italia title in some style on Saturday, as Filippo Ganna cruised to victory in the stage one time trial.

Tao Geoghegan Hart finished top of the general classification standings in 2020, and Ganna ensured INEOS hold the maglia rosa once more after day one. 

Ganna won the same stage last year – a 15km individual time trial from Monreale to Palermo – and repeated the feat on an 8.6km course in Turin this time around.

The defending time trial world champion, who won four stages in total in the 2020 Giro, went round in a time of 8:47, beating Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) by 10 seconds.

Affini and his team-mate Tobias Foss had looked well placed after their efforts, but Ganna ultimately had far too much power as he claimed what is the third-fastest individual time trial record in Giro history.

"It was a lot of time waiting in the hot seat at the finish, but I've won the stage, I'm here, and I'm really happy," Ganna, who recorded an estimated average speed of 58.748kmph, said in a flash interview.

"Now, we think about tomorrow, and recovering, because this Giro is really hard. I have this amazing victory."

Ganna is the first rider to wear the pink jersey after stage one of successive Giros since Francisco Moser in 1984 and 1985, while only Diego Ulissi (eight) and Vincenzo Nibali (seven) have won more stages in the event of the riders taking part this year.

Deceuninck-Quick Step riders Joao Almeida, Remi Cavagna and Remco Evenepoel all claimed top 10 finishes, while only a second separated GC favourites Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) and Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), who recorded times of 9:07 and 9:08 respectively.


1. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) 8:47
2. Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) +00:10
3. Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +00:13
4. Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +00:17
5. Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +00:41


General Classification

1. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) 8:47
2. Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) +00:10
3. Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +00:13

Points Classification

1. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) 15
2. Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) 12
3. Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) 9

King of the Mountains


The Giro d'Italia returns to its usual spot on the calendar after its coronavirus-delayed scheduling last year and it promises to be another classic.

It was not until October that last season's event took place, with Ineos Grenadiers rider Tao Geoghegan Hart taking the honours for his first Grand Tour triumph.

However, the Briton's primary target in 2021 is the Tour de France so he will not be wearing the maglia rosa in Milan at the end of the month.

Here is a rundown of everything you need to know about this year's Giro.



It is 3,479 kilometres of hard graft from the start in Torino on May 8 to the finish line in Milan 22 days later.

That spans 21 stages, with two rest days, beginning and ending with individual time trials.

In between are some punishing days in the saddle, including seven major mountain stages and brief trips into Slovenia and Switzerland along the way.

All eyes will be on what could be a pivotal day in the mountains on stage 16, which takes in climbs up Passo Fedaia and the Passo Giau in the Dolomites.

The literal high point of the race – though perhaps not at all figuratively for the competitors – will also come on that day atop the Passo Pordoi, at 2,239m above sea level.


There is little to split Simon Yates and Giro debutant Egan Bernal in the bookies' odds, with stiff competition from elsewhere in the pack.

Bernal is from the rich stock of Ineos Grenadiers' stable and will have the backing of a strong team, as will Team BikeExchange's Yates.

Both have Grand Tour successes under their belts, Bernal winning the 2019 Tour, while Yates prevailed at the 2018 Vuelta a Espana.

Given that Geoghegan Hart was not giving any billing ahead of last year's race, it would be remiss to exclude supposed 'outsiders' from the reckoning.

On that front, Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Bernal's team-mate Pavel Sivakov would be two to look out for, while 2020 runner-up Jai Hindley (DSM) cannot be discounted.



2020: Tao Geoghegan Hart 

2019: Richard Carapaz

2018: Chris Froome

2017: Tom Dumoulin 

2016: Vincenzo Nibali


Tour winner and five-time Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins shed some light on the supposed fragility of Bernal, suggesting the dynamic with Sivakov could prove problematic.

Wiggins favours Yates instead and suggested he could be joined on the podium by fellow Briton Hugh Carthy.

"The air of invincibility around Bernal has now gone after his failure at the Tour last year due to injury," Wiggins told Cyclingnews.

"There are question marks over his form and if he's through the period of being able to get through three weeks of racing without problems for his back.

"But for me this is Simon Yates' moment. He's won the Vuelta and it's been three years since he won that race and he dominated the Giro until Chris Froome did what he did.

"We could have two British riders [Yates and Carthy] on the podium and I think that it's going to be great race, I really do."

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