Fighting spirit sees Yates ride to second on stage 14 of Giro d’Italia

Sat 25 May 2019

After a tough day yesterday and despite losing touch on today’s longest climb, Simon Yates bravely fought back to finish second on stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia

Yates finished one-minute 32seconds behind Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) who won the stage solo, but after a long chase Yates managed to gain 22seconds on the remainder of the general classification riders.

Attacking from the gun:
With five classified climbs in just 131km of racing, there was no time to waste to force an aggressive stage. 

After the disappointment of yesterday, Simon Yates was one of the main instigators on the first climb, but the GC players were straight on his wheel despite the Brit sitting over eight minutes down on the general classification. 

When the breakaway did form, it was Chris Juul-Jensen once again to represent Mitchelton-SCOTT before Lucas Hamilton also bridged across to give the team two riders in the front group of eight. 

Another counter saw four more riders join the breakaway and with 50km remaining, they held a two-minute advantage on the bunch. 

Lion heart:
An attack from Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) distanced Yates on the Colle San Carlo, but the Briton maintained his pace, hovering just behind the main group of contenders.

As Hamilton dropped back from the front group, he joined up with Yates to continue the pace efforts. 

As Carapaz attacked solo, Yates fought on, almost re-joining the main group of contenders a number of times only for fresh attacks to spring up and increase the pace.

Yates crested the main climb around 15seconds behind, maintain the gap on the descent before eventually connecting the group in the valley as they began to look at each other.

As Carapaz continued to extend his lead, Yates attacked the chase group and fought all the way to the line to finish second in an incredible display of heart. 

Simon Yates: 
"I wasn't able to go with the best guys yesterday and I had to ride the climb at my own pace. I did the same today also but I was closer and I managed to come back through the valley when they were looking at each other later in the race.

Keep fighting is the main thing. We still have a long way to go. Of course I know it's going to be very difficult now, I am not under any illusion about that, especially with how my rivals are going, but we will see how the next few days go.

"I tried to attack this morning on the very first climb and the big guys wouldn't let me go, I was marked quite heavily there. I was not expecting to be so heavily marked because I'm so far behind now.

"I was still a little bit behind where I wanted to be, where most of the action happened, but I will keep plugging away, keep fighting and go from there."

Matt White - Head Sports Director:
"Today has caught up with a lot of people and for us it’s gone in a very good direction and it’s really good signs for tomorrow and obviously for an extraordinarily hard last week. 

“Simon and the team are in a good mental space. We came here to ride general classification, we came here to win the bike race and we’re going to do all we can to try to achieve that. Obviously we’ve got a lot of work to do, but step-by-step we’re going to move our way up and today was a nice start and a good confidence boost for Simon.”

Giro d’Italia – Stage 14 Results:
1. Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) 4:02:23
2. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:32
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +1:54

Giro d’Italia – General Classification after Stage 14:
1. Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) 58:35:34
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:07
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +1:47
9. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +5:28

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.