With the road now heading upwards, Mitchelton-Scott made a conscious move to save energy and let the break off the leash.
The team's decision to allow Herrada into the jersey was made in accordance with its pre-race plan to contain Yates' and the team's effort.
“We couldn't control everything again. There was a lot of tired guys in the peloton today so sometimes you have to take a bit of a risk but that's how it is," Yates said.
“We decided not to really chase anyone today, we were just going to ride to keep it at a decent gap and that’s what we did. Now we don’t have to control anything before the weekend, it's a really important part of the race.”
“We rode to try and keep the breakaway at a reasonable gap and the guys did a really good job.
"But now we’re looking forward to the race starting for real, which is tomorrow. I am feeling good so now I’ve just got to try and recover before then.”
Wily veteran Alejandro Valverde wasn't as happy Herrada now leads the race as he no longer sees a chance for himself to enjoy a stint in red. But after the Movistar rider expressed frustration yesterday at what he saw as a lack of cooperation from Mitchelton-Scott, he was a bit cheerier on that front.
"Today Mitchelton has pulled but there were very strong riders in the breakaway and it was hard to control. It was a very strong break. In the end, we pulled to finish as close as possible.”
“Tomorrow I don’t think Jesus (Herrda) will lose much time at La Camperona, I don’t think I can take the red jersey. I hope there won’t be too many gaps, and if there are that they will favour us."
Strap in to your couch for Stage 13 of the 2018 La Vuelta a Espana tonight live from 11.10pm on SBS Viceland, our website or via Twitter.