Yates second on Zoncolan to extend overall lead at Giro d’ItaliaSat 19 May 2018
Two-time stage winner Simon Yates has finished second up the famous Monte Zoncolan on stage 14 to extend his overall lead at the Giro d’Italia.
Yates finished six-seconds behind Chris Froome (Team Sky) who took out the stage, but the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider gained time on all his other rivals to put him one-minute 24seconds ahead of second-placed Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).
As the Zoncolan loomed ahead, there was no shortage of riders brave enough to try to make the day’s breakaway.
After several attempts, four riders rode off the front before being caught by three chasers to make a group of seven.
With Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) the highest contender on the general classification, at more than 13minutes adrift, Mitchelton-SCOTT settled on the front of the bunch to ride tempo with Svein Tuft and Sam Bewley.
Above and beyond:
Despite controlling the breakaway all day, Mitchelton-SCOTT’s men continued to ride on the front deep into the stage.
Both Bewley and Tuft both contributed well beyond expectation at the start of the day before Chris Juul-Jensen and Roman Kreuziger took up the reins for the next phase of the stage.
The mighty Monte Zoncolan:
Yates had Mikel Nieve and Jack Haig for support as they began Zoncolan but on a climb that hard teammates can really help with positioning only.
Team Sky hit the front and set a fast pace and shortly after, the remnants of the breakaway were scooped up and the stage victory was on offer.
Aru was in trouble with 6km to go before Froome put in his attack with a little more than four kilometres remaining. Yates responded with Domenico Pozzovivo and Miguel Angel Lopez before the 25-year-old went solo in pursuit.
As Dumoulin and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) lost touch, Yates continued to pursue Froome but couldn’t close the gap.
Simon Yates – Race Leader:
“I tried to go for the stage. I did my best to catch Chris. I just didn't have enough to get it. But as far as the Maglia Rosa is concerned, it's all good to be second here.”
"As expected, the gaps aren’t massive. I’m still happy with the gap to Tom [Dumoulin] and the rest of the guys behind. I wasn’t more nervous than the other days, as much as I am sure that Tom is confident ahead of time trials.
"I couldn’t follow Froome – he went at a really good moment. He put in a really strong acceleration. It was still a long way to go. I rode my own tempo at that moment – he didn’t get a huge gap. I tried to bridge but that’s ok. I did the best I could."
Giro d’Italia – Stage 14 Results:
1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 5:25:31
2. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:06
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) +0:23
Giro d’Italia – General Classification after Stage 14:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 61:19:51
2. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +1:24
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) +1:37
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.