Vuelta a Espana 2013: Nibali lead cut to three seconds

Vincenzo Nibali

Vincenzo Nibali of Italy saw his overall lead in the Vuelta a Espana cut to only three seconds after he finished 10th on stage 18 on Thursday.

Team Sky rider Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus won the mountainous 186.5km (115.9-mile) stage.

Nibali's nearest rival Chris Horner of the United States came sixth, 25 seconds ahead of the race leader.

Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez both made up a handful of seconds on Nibali.

However, the Spanish duo remain in third and fourth place respectively in the general classification for the Vuelta, which finishes in Madrid on Sunday.

Thursday's 18th stage, from Burgos to Pena Cabarga, included five categorised climbs as well as a difficult final ascent.

Denmark's Chris Sorensen was the only rider to finish within a minute of Kiryienka to take second place in the stage.

On Friday, the 19th stage is a 181km (112-mile) medium mountain stage between San Vicente de la Barquera and Alto del Naranco.

Result of Stage 18:

1. Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus/Team Sky) 4 hours, 46, minutes, 47 seconds

2. Chris Sorensen (Denmark/Saxo - Tinkoff) +28 secs

3. Adam Hansen (Australia/Lotto) +1'18"

4. Martin Kohler (Switzerland/BMC Racing) +1'34"

5. Egoi Martinez (Spain/Euskaltel) +1'42"

6. Chris Horner (US/RadioShack) +1'53"

7. Amets Txurruka (Spain/Caja Rural) + 2'02"

8. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain/Katusha) +2'13"

9. Alejandro Valverde (Spain/Movistar) +2'13"

10. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy/Astana) +2'18"

Overall standings after Stage 18:

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy/Astana) 73:39:35"

2. Chris Horner (US/RadioShack) +3"

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spain/Movistar) +1:09"

4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain/Katusha) +2:24"

5. Nicolas Roche (Ireland/Saxo - Tinkoff) +3:43"

6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy/AG2R) +5:44"

7. Thibaut Pinot (France/ +6:14"

8. Leopold Koenig (Czech Republic/NetApp) +6:35"

9. Samuel Sanchez (Spain/Euskaltel) +7:51"

10. Tanel Kangert (Estonia/Astana) +11:10"