photo credits @ La Vuelta/ASO
Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) climbed to victory in stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana in Les Praeres today, to no only claim the race honors, but retake the red leader’s jersey.
The British rider now leads Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) by 20-seconds, with Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) in third, 25-seconds back, after today’s 171 kilometer stage that featured no fewer than five categorized climbs.
A high-class group of favorites including Quintana, Valverde, Miguel Ángel López (Astana Pro Team), Steven Kruiswijk (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), duked it out on the punishingly steep slopes of the final ascent.
Before that, a six-strong breakaway worked hard to try and make it to the finish, Nicolas Rocheand Brent Bookwalter (both BMC Racing Team), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Michael Woods (EF Education First-Drapab p/b Cannondale), Iván Garcia Cortina (Bahrain Merida) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky).
Kwiatkowski then launched a brave solo assault from the breakaway, but was caught with 5 kilometers to go on the brutal final climb, but it was left to Yates and Mitchelton-SCOTT to seize control of the race once again.
Yates said, “it was very difficult [the final climb], and a very difficult stage … I chose my moment really well there in the very final … I didn’t look back until it flattened off a little bit, and I had a bit of a gap, so just gave it everything to the line … I gave everything I could today and I’m very happy.”
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