Simon Yates wins Vuelta a Espana stage six solo
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 27/08/16 2:11pm
Britain's Simon Yates claimed the first Grand Tour stage win of his career by escaping to a solo victory at the Vuelta a Espana.
The 24-year-old Orica-BikeExchange rider attacked out of the peloton with about 4.2km left of stage six and went on to beat Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) into second place by 20 seconds.
It was his second win of the season and comes just six weeks after he returned from a four-month suspension for testing positive for the banned asthma drug terbutaline, which was blamed on an "administrative error" made by his team doctor.
All of the contenders for overall victory followed in the main body of the peloton 29 seconds after Yates, meaning Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing) remains top of the general classification, 28 seconds ahead of second-placed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and 32 seconds in front of third-placed Chris Froome (Team Sky).
Yates had started the day 15th overall but has now risen to 10th, 1min 28sec down on Atapuma.
He said: "We set it up really well there in the beginning and I managed to take my opportunity there at the finish. That wasn't planned. I just wanted to make it a hard race and I'm very happy.
"It was pretty crazy - lots of twists and turns and hard roads there as well - but I managed to come down perfectly there in the finish and I timed my attack to perfection."
Switzerland's Mathias Frank led the stage by about 20 seconds going into the final 5km, but then Daniel Moreno attacked out of the peloton with about 4.5km to go and Yates followed a couple of hundred metres later.
The pair briefly worked together to catch and pass Frank, but with Moreno labouring, Yates attacked again with just under 4km remaining and quickly built up a lead of 25 seconds.
None of the teams in the peloton were willing to chase and so it was left up to a small group of counter-attackers led by Sanchez and Moreno to hunt Yates down, which they were ultimately unable to do.
Yates' victory salvages what has otherwise been a difficult year and continues a successful summer for his family, after twin brother Adam finished fourth overall at the Tour de France.
Stage six result
1 Simon Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange, 4:05:00
2 Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana, +20sec
3 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, +22
4 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing, same time
5 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ,fr, st
6 Daniel Moreno (Esp) Movistar, st
7 Mathias Frank (Sui) IAM Cycling, st
8 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, +29
9 Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, st
10 Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac, st
1 Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC Racing, 21:45:21
2 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, +28sec
3 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +32
4 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +38
5 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange, same time
6 Samuel Sanchez (Esp) BMC Racing, +1:07
7 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky, +1:12
8 Peter Kennaugh (GB) Team Sky, +1:14
9 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step, +1:22
10 Simon Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange, +1:28