Yates remains eighth overall after brutal stage 16 of Giro d’Italia

Tue 28 May 2019

Briton Simon Yates remains eighth overall after a shuffle at the top of the overall standings on a brutal stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia.

Despite the removal of the Gavia climb, riders navigated the brutal Mortirolo climb and a wet descent to the line. Yates finished alongside Primoz Roglic, with the duo losing one-minute 22seconds to the pink jersey.

Represented in the break:
Dane Chris Juul-Jensen, as we’ve seen on several occasions this Giro d’Italia, was one of the initial infiltrators on stage 16.

He was shortly joined by Mitchelton-SCOTT teammate Mikel Nieve and 18 other riders and after an eventual attempt to chase, Movistar eventually settled into a tempo behind and the group had four-minutes 30seconds with 100km remaining. 

By the start of the famous Mortirolo climb, the advantage sat at five and a half minutes and its steep slopes had an immediate effect.  As one-by-one riders dropped off the back of the breakaway, behind Astana and then Bahrain-Merida started pushing the pace.

The mighty Mortirolo:
It didn’t take long before Nibali attacked on the lower slopes of the Mortirolo, and the injection of pace disintegrated the remaining peloton. 

Yates and Hamilton also lost contact, and a second increase in speed also saw Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) lose touch. They joined forces and hovered around a minute behind the general classification group of Landa, Carapaz, Nibali and Lopez. 

By the top of the climb the Yates group trailed the pink jersey group by one-minute 45seconds, and despite gaining back time of the descent, they rolled across the line one-minute 22seconds adrift.

Ahead, after a full day in the break, Ciccone outsprinted Jan Hirt (Astana Pro Team) for the stage victory whilst behind Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos) lost most time.

Lucas Hamilton:
“My plan was to try to sit on Simon’s wheel up the Mortirolo. There’s not much you can do to help someone on a climb like that, you just have to ride your pace, but I was hoping to be there to help him on the valley to the line. 

“Unfortunately I made it to the top, but I got dropped on the descent. I missed the first couple of turns and I was out of my comfort zone and didn’t want to get in Simon’s way. 

“Fortunately we have Mikel Nieve who has had a super ride and dropped back from the breakaway to help him to the line.”

Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“We’ve finished the day in a similar spot position wise, but a much better place moving forward and it’s only going to amplify tomorrow.

“It’s nowhere near as tough as today but it’s still a tough mountain stage. The one thing that is clear it’s that if Nibali wants to win this Giro he has to keep  attacking, so the guys who can follow him are going to make more time up.

“Today’s conditions were perfect, better than predicted until the top of the last climb and then there were horrific conditions right from the top, down the descent and to finish.

“There’s still a hell of a lot to play for and tomorrow’s a key day.”

Giro d’Italia – Stage 16 Results:
1. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 5:36:24
2. Jan Hirt (Astana Pro Team) ST
3. Fausto Masnada (Androni-Giocattoli) +1:20
14. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +3:03

Giro d’Italia – General Classification after Stage 16:
1. Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) 70:02:05
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +1:47
3. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo Visma) +2:09
8. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +6:46

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.