Yates into white after short but brutal stage 18 of Giro d’Italia

Thu 25 May 2017

Tour de France best young rider Adam Yates has moved into the white jersey at the Giro d'Italia after a short but brutal stage 18 today. 

The 24-year-old ORICA-SCOTT rider finished 12th on the stage, just behind the group containing the pink jersey, one-minute and 16seconds down on stage winner Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team). 

The effort lifts Yates into ninth overall and gives him an 18second lead in the best young rider competition.

“It wasn’t an easy day in the saddle but in the end I took the white jersey,” Yates said. “For how long, we will see.” 

“We have two mountain stages to go and the time trial, where Bob (Jungels) is obviously much better than me. I need to make some more time in the next two days so we will see what happens. 

“It was only the last climb that I suffered quite a bit but other than that I felt quite strong.”

Yates was supported by a spirited performance from his ORICA-SCOTT outfit, particularly by Spanish teammate Ruben Plaza and Dane Chris Juul-Jensen.

“Ruben is an animal,” Yates declared. “He pretty much rode half a stage himself. If he is going as good as he was today, he can win a stage on his own.”

“But it wasn’t just Ruben, the whole team did a good job today. As soon as I said I felt good on the second climb, we got on the front and started given it some welly.”

“Hopefully we can do the same tomorrow and the day after and take it from there.” 

How it happened:

After an early reshuffle 18 riders made the main breakaway of the short but brutal stage 18.

Amongst them was Plaza for ORICA-SCOTT, Mikel Landa (Team Sky) and van Garderen (BMC Racing).

Behind, ORICA-SCOTT also had numbers on the front of the peloton, courtesy of Juul-Jensen who put in an impressive performance over tough terrain. 

Movistar then added resources to the front of the peloton and the group was shelled to just 15 riders with Yates present and the white jersey of Jungels (Quickstep) dropped.

Quintana made the first attack of the GC favourites and bridged across to two teammates who had waited from the break. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) also reacted but the pink jersey of Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) kept steady and made sure the GC battle regrouped.  

At the top of the Passo Gardena Grodnerjoch, Plaza also dropped back to assist Yates and he set a furious pace on the descent before continuing to contribute with Movistar until the final 15km. 

Ahead, Landa and van Garderen were alone with four remaining breakaway riders trying to keep in touch. With 10km to go the lead pair had 30seconds on the first chasers and one-minute on the GC group. 

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) went on the attack again with six kilometers to go and it was too much for Yates who dropped off the group.

After a series of moves in the final five kilometres, the top three riders allowed other GC players to pop off the front as Yates reconnected with the pink jersey before they slightly distanced him once again in the sprint to the line.

Giro d’Italia – Stage 18 Results

1. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) 3:54:04
2. Mikel Landa (Team Sky) ST
3. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +0:08
12. Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +1:12

Giro d'Italia - General Classification after the stage 18

1. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) +0:31
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +1:12
9. Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +7:06