Italy’s Francesco Gavazzi held his nerve to clinch stage 18 of the Tour of Spain in Cantabria on Thursday.
The 27-year-old was still made to battle hard as he was forced to chase down a brave late move from Portugal’s Sergio Paulinho
With only 30 kms to go before the finish line, the Radioshack rider broke clear of the pack after launching a superb attack on the final climb.
Paulinho produced a solid run but was unable to maintain his lead as he was finally swept up by Gavazzi and Belgium’s Kristof Vandewalle.
The Italian then hung close to the wheel of his opponent and timed his sprint perfectly to register the biggest win of his career.