Yates closing gap on leaders in Vuelta
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Yates closing gap on leaders in Vuelta

Simon Yates dusted off his Giro d'Italia playbook as he used a late attack to close the gap on the of the Vuelta a Espana leader's red jersey while Ben King recorded a rare victory for Team Dimension Data on stage four.

In the hunt: Aussie cyclist Simon Yates.

In the hunt: Aussie cyclist Simon Yates.

Photo: AAP

Yates, riding for Australian team Mitchelton-Scott, lit up the Giro in May when his attacking style was rewarded with three stage wins and 13 days in the leader's pink jersey.

He promised to employ similar tactics in the final Grand Tour of the season and was as good as his word as he put in a dig on the climb up to Alfacar.

The English rider took 27 seconds out of Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski to cut his deficit overall to 10 seconds, leaving him third overall behind Bora- Hansgrohe's Emanuel Buchman who is seven seconds off red.

King took the stage victory out of the breakaway, giving the injury-ravaged Dimension Data team their first major win since Mark Cavendish's victory on stage three of the Dubai Tour in February.

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The American King began the final climb in the virtual race lead with the remaining riders in the breakaway enjoying a lead of more than five minutes over the main group of favourites.

Breakaway win: American rider Ben King.

Breakaway win: American rider Ben King.

Photo: PA

That gap tumbled but as the road levelled out near the summit, King was able to outsprint Astana's Nikita Stalnov for his first career Grand Tour stage win.

"I set winning a Grand Tour stage as a goal for myself at the beginning of this year," King said.

"It's just something that I have to keep believing that I have the potential. It's really affirming. Myself and my wife have sacrificed so much to make this happen."

PA