SPORTS

Vuelta Cycling

The battle for title in tour of Spain remained wide open with two decisive stages remaining after leader Simon Yates and closest challenger Alejandro Valverde crossed the finish line together in 18th stage, won by Belgian Jelle Wallays.

Wallays edged Sven Erik Bystrom to snatch a first grand tour win after holding off a late attack from world champion peter Sagan in a packed finale at the end of the stage.

Lotto Soudal rider Wallays broke clear only three kilometres into the stage alongside Norwegian Bystrom of UAE team emirates and Dutchman Jetse Bol of Burgos-BH.

The leaders stayed at the front for the bulk of the day, enjoying a gap of two minutes thirty seconds at one point, which was cut down to 52 seconds in the final 10 kilometres and then to nothing as the stage concluded.