Stage 18 of the Tour of Spain has all but decided the race after Andrey Kashehkin and overall leader Alexandre Vinokourov finished together and ahead of the field on the Vuelta?s final summit finish.

The two Astana riders took off on the viciously steep eight kilometre climb of La Pandera - first Vinokourov went a third of the way up and Kashechkin shortly afterwards - in a joint attack that shattered any hopes arch-rival Alejandro Valverde (Caisse D?Epargne-Illes Balears) might have had of winning his home race.

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