Yates extends lead as Mitchelton-SCOTT redirect focus following stage 10 of the Giro d’ItaliaTue 15 May 2018
Stage nine winner Simon Yates has extended his lead at the Giro d’Italia, taking bonus seconds at an intermediate sprint on a brutal stage 10.
Whilst Yates extended his advantage, teammate Esteban Chaves fell out of overall contention after losing contact with the main bunch on the first climb.
The Britan now sits at 41seconds ahead of nearest rival Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and Mitchelton-SCOTT will re-direct their efforts to a sole leader.
Brutal stage and even more brutal start:
Already the longest day of the 2018 Giro d’Italia, stage 10 was extended by organisers by another five kilometres to make a total of 244km.
Falling after a rest day and starting immediately uphill, the peloton was as active as ever trying to form a breakaway and catch anyone on a bad day.
Countless attacks went off the front and teams set a brutal pace, even after an initial move of 17 went away. Unfortunately for Chaves, he was caught out, and lost touch.
A long chase, against a gang of rivals:
Off the back and with over 200km still left to race, Chaves had teammate Sam Bewley to assist in the chase.
With Yates strong in the front, Mitchelton-SCOTT could also afford to send Chris Juul-Jensen and Roman Kreuziger back to try to bring the Colombian back into contention.
Unfortunately, rivals saw the opportunity to attack a serious contender and the powerful combination of Yates and Chaves, and sent riders to the front of the bunch to keep the gap.
With sprinter Elia Viviani in the group, Quickstep Floors combined with Mitchelton-SCOTT for the chase and at the feed zone they had the advantage down to around a minute before the elastic broke from the effort and the chase was abandoned.
Sprinting for seconds:
Ahead, with teams burning riders to keep up the pace, Yates sat in pretty with teammates Jack Haig and Mikel Nieve.
Seizing the opportunity, Yates outsprinted a full Groupama-FDJ train to take three bonus seconds at the second intermediate sprint and extend his advantage.
The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider now has 41seconds on Dumoulin and 46seconds on Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) in the battle for the Maglia Rosa.
Simon Yates - Race leader:
"You don't really know how the body responds after a rest day, I am very dissapointed for him (Chaves) but hopefully he can bounce back and get a few stage wins.
"I was going to go for the bonus seconds, and once I saw Pinot was lining up with the team to do a lead out for the sprint I came behind him and managed to beat him in the sprint. I am going to need every second I can so maybe I need to start sprinting for more than bonus seconds.
"We will still approach the race in the same way, there's many more difficult stages to come so we will see how it goes."
"It hurts. That's my general classification at this year's Giro gone, so it's always going to hurt."
"I have to thank the team for everything they did to try to bridge the gap, but with all the other teams working against us, we had to call it and save our legs for the bigger picture."
"Simon is still in the lead and he is looking strong. We don't have each other to play off, but we still have a strong team. Our strategy might change, but our final goal doesn't. We will pull our shoes on again tomorrow and get back to work."
With Rai Sport:
"I’ve got a difficult relationship with Italy; it’s love and hate. Just a few days ago, I enjoyed one of the best days of my career and now it’s hard for my morale. But that’s life, we can only do our best. The important thing is that we’ve still got the leader’s jersey. Our plans won’t change.”
Giro d'Italia stage 10 results:
1. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) 6:04:52
2. Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale) ST
3. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:34
17. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:34
General classification after stage 10:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 43:42
2. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +0:41
3. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0:46
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.