Madrid : Team Astana rider Fabio Aru of Italy won the 18th stage of the Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain) cycle race, while Briton Chris Froome finished second to close in on overall race leader Alberto Contador of Spain.
Aru, 24, winner of the 11th stage, won the stage Thursday with a final sprint that saw him beat Froome to the line, reports Xinhua.
“It’s incredible,” said the Italian. “My energy isn’t the same after 18 stages but I’d really prepared for the Vuelta. It’s the first time that I’ve raced here, I like the route and hope to come back.”
Froome, the 2013 Tour de France winner, is now a minute 19 seconds behind red jersey holder Contador, the 2008 and 2012 winner, with three stages to go.
Friday’s 19th stage covers 180.5km between Salvaterra do Mino and Cangas do Morrazo and includes two second category climbs.