Belarus’ Vasil Kiryienka held his nerve to claim a thrilling solo victory on stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana on Thursday.
The Team Sky rider looked in great shape and overcame a late surge from rival Chris Anker Sorensen in the final ascent to secure the win, completing the 186.5km trek from Burgos to Pena Cabarga in an impressive time of 4 hours, 46 minutes and 48 seconds.
RadioShack-Leopard’s Chris Horner eventually had to settle for sixth place but was still the stage’s big winner in the overall standings after out-climbing Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali en route to the summit finish.
The 41 year old crossed the finish-line 25 seconds ahead of his Italian rival and this result sees him cut Nibali’s overall lead to just three seconds, giving him a major boost ahead of yet another decisive mountain stage in northern Spain on Friday.
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