Simon Yates wins mountain test to reclaim Vuelta lead

NAVA, Spain (AP) — Simon Yates pulled away from his title rivals on the final uphill push to win the mountainous 14th stage of the Spanish Vuelta and recover the race lead on Saturday.

Yates withstood repeated attacks from the small group of seven riders first up the first-category Les Praeres summit before the English cyclist opened up a small gap on the final 300 meters of the grueling ascent.

Miguel Angel Lopez and Alejandro Valverde crossed seconds later, followed shortly by Thibaut Pinot and Nairo Quintana.

Yates, a rider of Michelton-Scott, finished the 171-kilometer (106-mile) stage in 4 hours, 19 minutes and reclaimed the red jersey that he wore from stages 9 to 11.

Valverde is second overall at 20 seconds behind Yates, followed by Movistar teammate Quintana at 25 seconds back. Lopez is fourth, 47 seconds off the pace.

Jesus Herrada, who had led the race for two days, was dropped midway through the mountain test that included five categorized climbs.

The three-week race stays in the northern Picos de Europa mountains on Sunday for a 178-kilometer ride from Ribera de Arriba to the finish atop the beyond-category Lagos de Covadonga summit.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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