Valencia, Spain (AFP) – Britain's Adam Yates powered to victory on stage four of the Tour of Valencia on Saturday as Ion Izagirre closed in on the overall triumph.
Yates of Mitchelton-Scott outlasted Movistar's Alejandro Valverde on a testing uphill finish, with Pello Bilbao of Astana coming in third.
Izagirre, also of Astana, finished fourth, which was enough for the Spaniard to take the overall lead after former frontrunner Edvald Boasson Hagen fell away on the decisive 4.2 kilometre climb.
Yates attacked in the last kilometre of a hilly fourth stage, which had included four categorised climbs and 188 kilometres in total. By the time Valverde set off in pursuit, it was too late, the gap behind Yates too wide to close.
"It feels good," Yates said. "I've had a really good off-season, I've been really consistent with my training and doing everything correctly and it just goes to show when you commit like that everything comes together, so it is a really good feeling."
Izagirre is on the brink of overall victory given he holds a seven-second advantage over world champion Valverde heading into the final day on Sunday.