MADRID, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Ben King of Dimension Data produced a stunning solo ride to win the ninth stage of the three-week long Vuelta de Espana of (Tour of Spain) cycle race on Sunday.
King was able to escape off the front of a breakaway and then held on up the first mountain top finish of the race to win his second stage of the race.
The stage was defined by the breakaway including King, Thomas de Gendt of Lotto Soudal and Bauke Mollema of Trek Sagafedo, which opened a gap of over 10 minutes before the main peloton began to react.
King attacked his companions in the breakaway approaching the start of the 11 kilometer final climb, with Mollema taking off in pursuit as King began to suffer on ramps of up to 12 percent gradient.
Meanwhile the overnight race leader Rudy Mollard began to struggle on the climb and lost contact with the peloton.
Mollema slowly but surely ate into King's lead, recuing it to 17 seconds, but as the gradient levelled out in the last 3 kilometers King was able to recover to eventually finish 49 seconds ahead of an exhausted Mollema.
Down the field Alejandro Valverde of Movistar, who had begun the stage in second place, lost time in the closing meters to riders such as Nairo Quintana of Movistar, Simon Yates of Michelton-Scott, Ion Izaguirre of Bahrain-Merida, Rigoberto Uran of Education First and Wilco Kelderman of Sunweb.
The results mean Yates did just enough to take the overall leader's red jersey with a one-second advantage over Valverde ahead of Monday's well-deserved rest day.
The race returns to action on Tuesday with a relatively flat stage starting in Salamanca.