Simon Yates sealed victory in La Vuelta to complete a British clean sweep of this year's Grand Tours.

The 26-year-old, whose success was all but guaranteed as he headed into Sunday's largely processional final stage into Madrid with a one minute and 46 seconds lead, avoided any late mishaps to land his first Grand Tour title.

Ireland's Nicolas Roche finished 29th on today's stage ended the Vuelta 40th on the general classification.

Victory for the Mitchelton-Scott rider followed success for Chris Froome at the Giro d'Italia and for Geraint Thomas at the Tour de France to complete an unforgettable year for British cycling. 

Elia Viviani out-sprinted Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) to win stage 21 after a flat 100.9 kilometres ride from Alcorcon, while Yates retained his advantage over Spain's Enric Mas, Viviani's team-mate at Quick-Step Floors, in the final general classification standings.

And the day belonged firmly to the man in red, who has recovered from the disappointment of running out of gas at the Giro after holding the race leader's pink jersey for 13 days to triumph in Spain.

Those punishing three weeks may have ended in heartache, but they proved Yates, who won the young rider classification at last year's Tour de France, had what it takes to contend in Grand Tours - and he delivered at the very next opportunity. 

Yates' coronation also gave Britain its third Grand Tour champion, while it was also the fifth Grand Tour win in a row by a British rider, Froome having completed a Tour-Vuelta double last year.

Yates said: "It's astonishing really. Growing up I was so accustomed to seeing the French, Italian and Spanish riders lead the way, so for myself, Chris and Geraint to all win a Grand Tour in the same year just shows how far the sport has come in this country."

Froome paid tribute to Yates' achievement, saying: "Simon has looked so strong over the last three weeks and it's great to see him take home the maillot rojo. It's been a perfect year for British riders."