Adam Yates takes fifth and moves into the race lead at Tirreno-Adriatico

Thu 14 Mar 2019

Brit Adam Yates moved into the race lead at Tirreno-Adriatico after fighting off late attacks to take fifth in the uphill sprint for the line.

Mitchelton-SCOTT controlled the pace for the majority of the day and some strong work from Australian time-trial champion Luke Durbridge and Damien Howson helped deliver Yates into the closing kilometres to contest the finale.

Five break clear

Five riders jumped clear of the peloton as soon as the flag dropped and Mitchelton-SCOTT quickly established themselves on the front of the bunch.

It was race leader Michael Hepburn and fellow Australian Alex Edmonson who shared the majority of the pace setting at the head of the pack, while the gap to the escapees reached a maximum of five minutes.

With no help coming from anyone else, the gap held steady at around three and a half minutes until the race rolled through the 40km to go marker and a handful of teams committed men to the chase.

The finale

With several teams now working to reel in the five men up the road, the advantage to the breakaway began to shrink dramatically. A minute was quickly shaved off as the race reached 30km to go and the roads started to roll up and down ahead of the climb to the finish.

As the breakaway was brought back, Dane Chris Juul-Jensen took up the reins on the front of the peloton inside the final 10km with the final climb approaching. As Juul-Jensen swung off, Durbridge took up the pace setting, with Howson sat second wheel and Yates just behind.

The attacks began with 3km left to go with a number of riders trying their luck off the front of the reduced pack. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) opened up the most significant gap and he was joined by a select group of GC hopefuls.

However, the move was short-lived and as the race passed under the flamme rouge it was all set for an uphill sprint for victory. In the end it was Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) who opened up the sprint and the Frenchman held on for the win with Yates taking fifth and the overall race lead.

Adam Yates:
“This kind of finish doesn’t suit me down to the ground, it’s more for the punchier guys like Alaphilippe and Van Avermaet, so I’m happy with my position and we’ll just take it day by day and see what tomorrow brings.”

“It’s good, I’m not sure how long I’ll hold onto it [race lead], but we’ll try our best and see how it goes.”

“After yesterday’s big ride in the TTT, it was another hard stage today, a different kind of stage but I’m happy with my position, happy with my condition.”

“Tomorrow’s a sprint stage then we have a few punchy, tricky stages and like I said yesterday, there’s no real hard, long mountain stage, a lot of hard short stages, so we’ll see how the legs are and take it from there.”

Matt White (Sports Director):
“It was great that Heppy could take the jersey yesterday and we weren’t going to throw it away that’s for sure.”

“The boys rode a nice intelligent race today, we wanted to have a crack at the stage and we did, Adam was fifth on the day and it’s been a low stress day.”

“It was a long day in the office for some of the boys, with Edmo and Heppy who chased, but we wanted to give Adam a good chance of a result today and he did a good job.”

Tirreno-Adriatico stage two results:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick Step) 4:48:09
2. Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) ST
3. Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First) ST
5. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Tirreno-Adriatico general classification after stage two:
1. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 5:10:34
2. Brent Bookwalter (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
3. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) +0:07

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.