Yates survives crosswind scare on stage seven of the Giro d’Italia

Fri 9 Oct 2020

Mitchelton-SCOTT team leader Simon Yates survived a fast and chaotic stage seven of the Giro d’Italia as the day came down to another bunch sprint.

The Tirreno-Adriatico winner was distanced as crosswinds blew the race apart in the opening 30km of the stage, but the British climber was able to make it back to the front on a hectic day of racing.

Flat Out
It looked like a routine start to the stage as a group of four riders attacked from the gun with no protest from the peloton. The bunch then eased off and it appeared that the day’s breakaway had been formed, but the race was then ripped apart as crosswinds began to blow.

Splits quickly began to open up as teams pushed the pace at the head of the pack and Mitchelton-SCOTT were amongst those who missed out. As the leading group swept past the early breakaway, Yates found himself in the third chasing group on the road alongside Czech Tour winner Damien Howson with 100km still remaining.

Howson was on the front, giving turns in the chasing group as the two groups ahead came back together. The gap back to Yates and co stood at around 50 seconds, but with a number of teams contributing to the chase, the groups merged with 80km to go.

Danger Averted
The race then settled down again until a crash with 45km to go saw several riders go down, including Howson and Lucas Hamilton. The pace had just increased as the pile-up occurred and with the potential of more crosswinds looming Cameron Meyer and Michael Hepburn surrounded Yates at the head of the bunch.

Hamilton was able to make it back to the front of the race with 20km remaining and the peloton was starting to look nervous as the finale approached. However, despite the threat of more gusts, the danger never materialised as the bunch raced into Brindisi.

Yates was kept safe by his Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates on the run into town and crossed the line safely tucked away in the peloton as Arnaud Demare claimed his third stage win of the race.

Matt White (Head Sports Director):
"There were a lot of crashes, some nervous guys and we need to see how we washed up in the end, it looks like [Edoardo] Affini has hurt his hand, Damo as well. So, we’ll have to wait for the medical team to see what the final outcome is there.

"Lucas was involved in a crash and was at one stage in the last group, but he came back and finished on the bunch time. In the end the guys got quite well organised in the finish and made sure Simon got through unscathed." 

Giro d’Italia Stage 7 - Results:
1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 2:47:28
2. Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) ST
3. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) ST
37. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Giro d’Italia - GC after Stage 7:
1. João Almeida (Deceuninck - Quick Step) 24:48:29
2. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain – McLaren) +0:43
17. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +2:47
21. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +3:52