Mitchelton-SCOTT prominent at Milano-TorinoWed 10 Oct 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT produced strong team display full of intent at Milano-Torino in Italy today, before an explosive double ascent of the Superga climb blew the race apart with Adam Yates finishing in the top twenty.
The Australian WorldTour outfit set their stall out early, controlling the tempo of the peloton behind the breakaway for much of the day alongside FDJ until the race came back together for the grand finale.
Attacks peppered the front of the race with Yates, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and eventual winner Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) all prominent as the leaders went over the top of the Superga, down the descent and up the other side for a brutal close to the race.
Yates lost contact with the front runners over the last two kilometres before Pinot made the most of an unfortunate crash within the leading group to sail away for a solo win.
With a flat, then rolling, then flat again 200kilometres ahead that culminated in two ascents of the historic Superga there was no big surprise when a four-man move clipped off the front over the first 30kilometres and quickly gained five minutes on the content peloton.
Mitchelton-SCOTT were in control of the peloton at the halfway point, lined out behind Carlos Veronain support of Yates with two riders from FDJ also in attendance and the quartet at six minutes.
Forty kilometres later and the gap was down to two minutes with Mitchelton-SCOTT and FDJ still shouldering the workload and that’s the way it remained until the first ascent of Superga.
The break split and were mopped up before the 20kilometres to go mark with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)the first to launch an attack, splitting the bunch and forcing a selection. Yates was able to follow the first move, but Pinot and Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) rotated with Valverde over the top and created a small gap on the Yates group.
Down the descent and Yates made it back in and the group swelled going onto the final ascent and where more attacks caused more splits before a quintet broke clear over the last two kilometres with Valverde, Pinot and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) all involved.
A dramatic, but clumsy crash disrupted the efforts of Valverde and lopez as Pinot skipped away unscathed and passed alone under the Flamme Rouge to take the race win.
Lopez and Valverde hung on to round out the podium with Yates finishing amongst the chasers and outside the top ten in 14th place.
“We had a plan and stuck to it, even if the result is not want we wanted we can be proud of how we rode as a team.”
“Carlos rode pretty much all day and then when the fight for position came towards the bottom of the climb we all stuck together and came into it towards the front, which was perfect.
“But if I’m completely honest I’m struggling to get that winning mentality back, it’s been a few months of riding conservatively and especially in the Vuelta looking after Simon.
“So, it’s been a while since I actually raced for the win myself and sometimes you just miss that little spark that makes you go from fighting in the wheels and holding on to fighting for the win.
“We’ve got a few days easy now before the Giro di Lombardia on Saturday which will be my last race of the season.”
1. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) 04:43:36
2. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +0:10
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0:28
14. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:02
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.