“Go for it,” Adam Yates told his brother, at the bottom of the last gruelling climb on the penultimate stage of the La Vuelta race in Spain.
Simon Yates went for it, pushed hard up the mountain, and rode hard enough to claim the first victory for an Australian team in any of cycling’s three Grand Tours.
He is one minute 46 seconds in front of the winner of the Saturday stage, Enric Mas.
Like the Tour de France, the 21-day Vuelta’s finale on Sunday is a processional where tradition dictates the winner must not be attacked, so Yates just needs to cross the line to be crowned champion.
Simon Yates, from Bury near Manchester in England, joins Sky’s Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas as this year’s Grand Tour winners – only the third time in history cyclists from one country have made a clean sweep of cycling’s most prestigious titles, and the first time it has been done by three different riders.