Yates back in red after stage 14 surge

Twitter (@MitcheltonSCOTT)

Simon Yates continued his strong 2018 to retake the lead of the Vuelta a Espana with victory on stage 14 on Saturday.

Yates attacked during the final ascent of the 171-kilometre stage, which started in Cistierna and finished with a gruelling climb up the Alto Les Praeres.

His late break was timed to perfection as none of the chasing quartet of Miguel Angel Lopez, Alejandro Valverde, Thibaut Pinot or Nairo Quintana could respond.

The triumph marked his fourth Grand Tour stage success of the year, the Mitchelton-Scott rider having won three times during the Giro d'Italia, which he led from stage six to stage 18 before cracking under the pressure from Chris Froome.

Yates had previously been in the red jersey from stage nine to 11 at the Vuelta, and now takes it back from Jesus Herrada after the Cofidis rider finished over nine minutes off the pace.

Yates leads by 20 seconds from Movistar's Valverde and, with seven stages to go, will this time look to hang on to his advantage all the way through to Madrid.

"I chose my moment really well there in the final, I didn't look back until it flattened off a little bit," Yates said. "I had a bit of a gap so just gave it everything to the line."

 

DE GENDT DOMINATES MOUNTAINS

Lotto-Soudal's Thomas De Gendt vaulted himself firmly into King of the Mountains contention as he took maximum points on three of the day's five climbs.

He trails Cofidis' Luis Angel Mate by just 10 points, while Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski reached the summit of the penultimate climb first.

Kwiatkowski broke clear up the Alto de la Falla de los Lobos but did not have the legs to make a long-range breakaway stick, Yates hitting top gear when it counted to tilt the General Classification race in his favour.


STAGE RESULT

1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 4:19.27
2. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +0.02s
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0.02s
4. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0.05s
5. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +0.07s

CLASSIFICATIONS

General Classification

1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 59:11.18
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0.20s
3. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +0.25s

Points Classification

1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 101 points
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 83 points
3. Benjamin King (Team Dimension Data) 68 points

King of the Mountains

1. Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) 64 points
2. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) 54 points
3. Benjamin King (Team Dimension Data) 40 points

UP NEXT

It will be far from an easy Sunday for the peloton, with stage 15 serving as one of the toughest of the Vuelta. The 178.2km journey from Ribera de Arriba to the iconic Lakes of Covadonga finish features an accumulated inclination of over 4000 metres.