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"What a fantastic moment"

Sander Armée offers Lotto Soudal third victory at Vuelta
Lotto Soudal rider Sander Armée has offered a third victory to his team. He went in the early breakaway and outstanded his last fellow companions Alaphilippe and Lutsenko on the last climb. That way he won his first professional race of his career. “What a fantastic moment for me”, said the first time winner.

In the morning before the start of the 18th stage Maxime Monfort had to announce bad news. For the first time in 18 grand tours he had to abandon, because of illness. So this day didn't start very well for his team Lotto Soudal. After the start at Suances it took more than 60km before the breakaway to stay upfront. Eventually 20 riders managed to get away from the peloton, including Sander Armée and four who already won a stage this Vuelta. Alaphilippe as well as Lutsenko, Mohoric and Trentin took a victory earlier.

In the climb of the Collada de la Hoz Sander Armée went in the attack together with Gougeard. Alaphilippe, Lutsenko and Soler reunited with them afterwards. With also De Marchi, Rojas and Visconti closing the gap Armée again attacked and got Alaphilippe and Lutsenko on his wheel. In the end the French Quick Step rider had to let go, so only the Belgian-Kazach duo went to the last climb to fight for the victory. With strong kicks on his pedals Armée slightly forced the break and Lutsenko had to give in. The Belgian crossed the finish line with his hands in the air and took the first professional win of his career, and what a win!

Just as for Stefan Denifl yesterday, Armée had the best day of his career so far. “What a fantastic moment for me! I am a professional rider for eight years now, but this is just my first win. I feel remarkably good at the end of this Vuelta, which resulted in this win. I felt super strong today, it felt like I could keep on riding”, said the Belgian winner.