Simon Yates takes Vuelta lead after King violates away to win stage nine

Benjamin King won the mountainous ninth stage of the Vuelta, finishing atop the beyond-category La Covatilla, while Simon Yates took over the race lead

The American rider Benjamin King won the mountainous ninth stage of the Vuelta, finishing atop the beyond-category La Covatilla on Sunday, while Simon Yates took over the race lead.

King remained ahead of the chaser Bauke Mollema on a long breakaway to win the 201 km leg starting in Talavera de la Reina that crested three categorized pass before the final uphill push in five and a half hours.

King, who rides for Dimension Data, also won the fourth stage for his first Grand Tour stage win at 29. He had day enough to lift his arms in victory as he reached the finish, only to collapse on the ground gasping for air.” I feel so bad right now ,” Spanish TV cameras caught King telling his squad as he recovered from the effort.” I can’t believe that .”

Yates of Michelton-Scott was the ninth rider to finish. The English cyclist took the red jersey from Rudy Molard, who had led the race for four flat stages but faded early on the brutal last ascent.

Yates leadings Alejandro Valverde by one second, with Valverde’s Movistar teammate Nairo Quintana 14 seconds back. Both Valverde and Quintana are former Vuelta winners.

Yates resulted the Giro d’Italia for 13 days in May with Chris Froome the eventual win. Monday is the first of two rest days in the three-week race.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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