Yates and Mitchelton-SCOTT off to strong start at Giro d’ItaliaFri 4 May 2018
Hard work has paid off for Britan Simon Yates on the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia in Jerusalem today, recording an impressive time trial that placed him in seventh position and just 20seconds down on stage winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).
Teammate and fellow leader Esteban Chaves finished 46seconds off the pace of Dumoulin, but still in an expected position amongst the pure climbers in what was a successful start for Mitchelton-SCOTT.
The course proved more difficult than had been suggested on paper, with short sharp climbs playing more into the hands of the climbers than expected.
A slippery road surface on early corners saw several crashes in the morning’s training session and may have contributed to a more conservative approach to those affected.
The GC battle:
Despite the morning’s recon revealing a better course than expected, Yates started the day with the aim of minimising losses but finished having gained time on many of his rivals, including 13seconds to Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), 17seconds to Chris Froome (Team Sky), 30seconds to Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) and 36seconds to Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana).
“In the recon we actually realised the course was much harder than we thought it would be and for sure than was a massive advantage.
“There were a couple of tricky corners and some of the roads here were really slippery, so we had to be careful there with a few guys crashing earlier.
“It’s my first top 10 in a time trial and I’m really happy with that. I put a lot of work in and, finally, we are seeing some improvements.
“I was pleasantly surprised to make time on some guys, I wasn’t expecting that. I was always expecting to lose time, but actually the short sharp climbs suit me more than the long progressive climbs and once we saw the course we knew it would be a bit more favourable for me.”
“Once we saw the actual course, it was a time trial that wasn’t too bad for our guys. I think Simon has ridden his best-ever time trial and it was a course that he has taken some calculated risks on.
“The GC spread is about 50seconds, between Dumoulin and Lopez, which is a decent spread, but there’s a long way to go. No one wants to lose time, but if you can take five or 10 seconds somewhere, it’s a bonus.”
1. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) 12:02
2. Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) +0:02
3. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) +0:02
4. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:20
Photo couresy of Getty Images.