Simon Yates assumed the overall race lead by winning stage 14 ©Getty Images

Britain's Simon Yates moved into the Vuelta a España race lead by winning stage 14 of the Grand Tour in Valle de Sabero.

Yates began the 174 kilometre stage from Carreño with a 1min 42sec deficit to race leader Jesus Herrada of Spain.

The lead was destined to change hands when Herrada was dropped in the final 30 kilometres of racing today, with the Cofidis rider eventually losing over nine minutes.

Attacks began among the general classification contenders in the closing kilometres of the mountain stage.

Steven Kruijswijk of The Netherlands and Spain's Alejandro Valverde were active on the front as the final climb tested the leading group.

The duo were chased by Miguel Angel Lopez and Nairo Quintana of Colombia, as well as Yates and France's Thibaut Pinot.

Yates was able to attack in the final kilometre and moved clear to take the stage win in a time of 4 hours, 19min and 27sec, gaining a time bonus in the process.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider finished two seconds clear of Lopez and Valverde, with Pinot a further three down.

Quintana crossed at seven seconds adrift.

Alejandro Valverde lies second overall at 20 seconds down ©Getty Images
Alejandro Valverde lies second overall at 20 seconds down ©Getty Images

"I prefer longer climbs because on efforts like today you’re always at the limit," Yates said.

"If I have the same legs tomorrow I’ll be happy.

"Movistar had strength in numbers and I was a bit worried about it but I rode my own race and chose my moment to go."

Yates leads the general classification by 20 seconds from Valverde, with the Spaniard’s Movistar team-mate Quintana a further five seconds down.

Lopez is the only other rider within one minute of Yates, with the Colombian 47 seconds behind the leader.

The International Cycling Union WorldTour race continues tomorrow with a 171km mountain stage from Cisterna to Les Praeres.