Published On: Sat, Sep 15th, 2018

British cyclist Simon Yates set to win Spain’s La Vuelta

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British cyclist Simon Yates is certain to win Spain’s La Vuelta after retaining the red jersey ahead of Sunday’s processional final stage.

Barring any major setback, the 26-year-old will become the third Briton to win one of cycling’s Grand Tour races within the last year.

Team Sky’s Chris Froome is the current holder of the Giro d’Italia title and his teammate Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France.

Yates’s win will also be the fifth consecutive victory for a British cyclist in a Grand Tour event, as Chris Froome was the previous winner of La Vuelta and the Tour.

The Mitchelton-Scott team rider finished one minute 46 seconds ahead of his next nearest rival at the end of the 20th stage in Andorra with just one stage to go.

It is tradition that the leading rider is not challenged in the final stage. The overall leader wears a red jersey – the equivalent to the Tour de France’s yellow jersey.

This year’s event covers 3,254km (2,021 miles) and has taken riders through many of Spain’s mountain ranges before concluding in Madrid on Sunday.

Yates finished one minute 46 seconds ahead of his nearest rival

Yates, from Bury, Greater Manchester, has a twin brother Adam, who is also a professional cyclist and was placed fourth overall in the Tour de France in 2016.

Simon Yates also has a good record in the Tour, having come 7th overall in 2017 and taking the white jersey as fastest young rider.

In the Giro d’Italia, Yates held the top spot in the general classification earlier this year before seemingly running out of steam in the race which Froome eventually won.

Yates had previously competed for the British national team, winning a gold in the Track World Championships in 2013 and third overall in the Tour of Britain in the same year it was won by Sir Bradley Wiggins.

In 2016, Yates was banned for four months after committing what the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) called a non-intentional violation of an anti-doping rule.

Cycling News reported that Yates had tested positive for the controlled substance Terbutaline during the Paris-Nice race that year. It is a drug commonly taken for asthma.

The website reported that the doctor on Yates’s former team, Orica-GreenEdge, had made an administrative error by failing to apply for a therapeutic use exemptions (TUE), to treat the rider’s asthma.

Orica-GreenEdge said in a statement at the time that Yates was not to blame, the team took responsibility and it would result in an “unfortunate break” in his racing.

The team’s explanation was accepted by the the UCI. The ban meant Yates missed the 2016 Tour de France.

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