Team Sky were able to keep their powder dry in the bunch on stage 18 at the Vuelta a Espana on a day for the sprinters.

A thrilling finish in Lleida saw the day’s breakaway cling on to claim victory on the line ahead of a surging peloton. Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal) out-sprinted Sven Erik Bystrom (UAE-Team Emirates), with the pair coming home within a second of the chasing pack.
 
David de la Cruz led Team Sky home and remains in 13th place overall. The stage allowed the team and riders the chance to conserve energy ahead of two final days in the mountains, with a pair of summit finishes offering fresh opportunities for breakaway victories.
 
The bunch sprint ensured that the general classification went unchanged, with Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retaining his slender 25-second advantage over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
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Sport Director Xabier Zandio talked us through a more straightforward day on the road to Madrid.

He said: "At the start of the stage we expected to have a bit more action with potential crosswinds. But in the end it was quite straightforward with three riders going away early. The bunch used the day for a bit of recovery, but with so many exposed areas it wasn't always super easy for the peloton. But you could see a lot of people used the day for recovery ahead of the last two summit finishes."

Overall Standings:
 
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 73:02:37
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +25”
3. Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) +1’22”
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +1’36”
5. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) +1’48”
13. David de la Cruz (Team Sky) +9’55”

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