Cycling: Kiwi George Bennett completes gruelling Vuelta a Espana as Simon Yates victorious

George Bennett.
George Bennett. Photo credit: Getty Images

Kiwi George Bennett has finished the gruelling Vuelta a Espana in 35th, as Britain's Simon Yates claimed his first Grand Tour win.

Bennett finished the final 100km stage into Madrid on Monday (NZ time), well down the leaderboard to complete a disappointing tour.

The 28-year-old was targeting a top-10 finish, after a 10th-place finish in 2016, but was forced to pull out after 11 stages last year, due to illness.

He held a spot in the top-10 after 10 stages, but some poor results saw him tumble down the general classification and he never recovered.

Monday's final stage was won by Italian Elia Viviani in a sprint finish, as he edged out world champion Peter Sagan and Giacomo Nizzolo for his third stage win of the race.

Yates crossed the line in 32nd to secure a historic victory for his Michelton-Scott  team, as they become the first Australian men's cycling team to produce a Grand Tour winner.

Simon Yates celebrates.
Simon Yates celebrates. Photo credit: AAP

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

Yates finished 1m 46s ahead of Enric Mas of Spain, with Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez third overall, 2m 4s behind.

Bennett now turns his attention to the road cycling world champs in Austria next week.