Yates vows to fight on after motorbike crash on stage 9 of Giro d’Italia

Sun 14 May 2017

British climber Adam Yates has vowed to fight on after an unfortunate crash involving a motorbike put a dent in his and ORICA-SCOTT’s overall aspirations at the Giro d’Italia today.

With around 15km to go, on the tough final climb of stage nine, a stationary police motorbike on the side of the road clipped a Team Sunweb rider causing a crash that took down Yates and a number of other general classification contenders, including Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).

Yates quickly mounted back on his bike, despite a broken frame and a rubbing wheel from the crash. The 24-year-old had the support of teammates Ruben Plaza and Carlos Verona in the chase, but the damage was done courtesy of a furious pace up front.

Ahead, a strong Nairo Quintana (Movistar) took the stage solo whilst Yates fought on hard to finish 4’39” behind on the famous Blockhaus climb.

Despite the disappointment, Yates has vowed to fight on.

"I'm bitterly dissappointed with today's unfortunate situation, but the Giro isn't over for us yet," Yates said.

"I came here in great condition after months of hard work and that form hasn't gone anywhere. We have two more hard weeks ahead of us and I'm more motivated than ever to get a result and climb back up the general classification."

Sport director Matthew White echoed Yates' fighting words, albeit disappointed by today's proceedings.

“We are extremely disappointed that something that shouldn’t have happened has had such an impact today,” White said. 

“We don’t know the circumstances, whether the motorbike stalled or just made an error in judgement in stopping there but you never want to see that happen. 

"Unfortunately we feel that Movistar also made a mistake today. Given the scenario of the race, still a long way from the finish and no break to chase, it was possible for them to wait just for a couple of minutes given there were so many GC contenders on the deck. The strongest guy won today but the damage behind was significant. 

“Look, it was a bad day for us but we won’t give up. It’s put a dent in our podium aspirations but there is still a lot of climbing to come and we will keep fighting. All is not lost.”

How it happened: 

Earlier in the day, 10 riders were shortly joined by three chasers to form the breakaway of stage nine, hopeful that the general classification teams would allow them some freedom before battling between themselves behind. 

As it was, they were not in luck, and their advantage didn’t reach much more than three-minutes and Movistar, in particular, were keen to keep them within striking range.

ORICA-SCOTT sent Canadian Svein Tuft to the front to contribute to the chase and as they headed towards Blockhaus and into the final 30km, the breakaway's advantage was down to under a minute. 

The race was back together with 18km to go before just a handful of kilometres down the road, disaster struck for ORICA-SCOTT with Yates and others hitting the deck from the crash. 

Fighting on gallantly, Yates lost almost four-minutes 40seconds to Quintana who attacked on the climb for a solo victory.