Rigoberto Urán celebrates after winning the 17th stage ©Getty Images

Rigoberto Urán of Colombia completed a hat-trick of Grand Tour wins with victory in stage 17 of the Vuelta a España, while Belgian Remco Evenepoel maintained his overall lead after nearest rival Primož Roglič of Slovenia pulled out of the race due to injury.

The EF Education-EasyPost rider powered over the finish line in a winning time of 3hr 42min 28sec following his breakaway in the 160-kilometre stage.

He edged out Frenchman Quentin Pacher of Groupama-FDJ, while Spaniard Jesús Herrada of Cofidis finished two seconds back to complete the podium.

It was a long-awaited victory for Urán, adding to his other Grand Tour wins at the Giro d'Italia in 2013 and 2014 and Tour de France in 2017.

"It is always nice to win at the Vuelta, and I have been hunting it for many years," said the 35-year-old.

"I had victories in the Giro and the Tour de France, and so this gives me great joy.

"I was looking for this win.

"It has been a long journey, but I am very happy.

Remco Evenepoel, right, leads Enric Mas, left, by two minutes going into the final four stages ©Getty Images
Remco Evenepoel, right, leads Enric Mas, left, by two minutes going into the final four stages ©Getty Images

"Thank you to my team and to my family who made it possible as well.

"They were the first to believe in me, so it makes me very happy."

Evenepoel of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl holds a 2:01 lead over Spain’s Enric Mas of Movistar in the general classification standings with four stages left.

The Belgian's title hopes have been boosted by the withdrawal of Roglič who was forced to pull out because of injuries sustained following a heavy fall just metres from the finish line in the 16th stage.

"I think the race as hard to control as it was with Primož," said Evenepoel.

"But of course, on a finish like this, Primož is a really explosive guy.

"He can go in the last 500 metres and take 10 or 15 seconds so I think now there is less danger from attacks like this because Enric is a bit less explosive than Primož.

"I think that’s the main difference but that doesn’t make it easier, not at all."

Competition is due to continue tomorrow with the 191.7km mountain stage from Trujillo to Alto del Piornal.