Yates third after another attacking attitude on stage 15 of Giro d’Italia

Sun 26 May 2019

Briton Simon Yates has sprinted to third place behind a two-man breakaway after another attacking attitude on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia.

For the second consecutive stage Yates was a major instigator after his Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates took things into their own hands on the 232km ‘Classics-style’ stage.

Yates finished alongside Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and leader Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team), just 11seconds behind stage winner Dario Cataldo (Astana Pro Team).

Gaining some seconds on the likes of Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Yates moves up one position to eighth overall ahead of the second rest day. 

Small break:
Expectations that the stage would be one for a breakaway, expectations were for a big fight and large move to form. 

Despite some efforts, including from Esteban Chaves, after a fast first hour of racing just two riders rode themselves to an advantage. 

Riding back into the stage:
As the race entered the final 100km, the stage looked likely to be contested by the leading duo. Until then, the peloton, led by leaders Movistar Team, showed no interest in chasing and the gap was out to over 15minutes. 

In a quick shift in momentum, Mitchelton-SCOTT moved to the front of the peloton and took racing into their own hands.

The increase in pace saw the gap reduce by five-minutes in less than 30km and sparked a new energy from the bunch as they reached the latter climbing section of the race. 

Pushing on the climbs:
As we approached 50km to go and the Colma di Sormano climb Lucas Hamilton set the tempo on the front and the deficit to the break continued to reduce. 

Yates made two swift attacks on the Sormano the first immediately covered by Movistar, the second saw a small gap emerge, before the GC favourites worked together to close it over the top of the climb. 

The final climb set the scene for more attacking for Yates, this time with Vincenzo Nibali and Richard Carapaz setting off in pursuit. The attacks caught Yates, but he chased the pair down the descent before sprinting to third place, just 11seconds behind the surviving breakaway pair. 

Simon Yates:
“I’m getting better day by day, but really at the end of the day I have nothing to lose now. If I go from far out, they don’t chase me and I can gain some seconds or if I go from far and they catch me, it doesn’t matter because I’m a very long way down so I can try these things.  

“It was only a small breakaway for a long day. Mid way through the stage I was feeling good, Whitey geed me up a bit and the guys did a really great job. No one else wanted to commit to the chase, they were happy for the breakaway to stay away, but the big guys did a really great job into the bottom of the climbs and the rest of the guys were great on the climbs, especially Lucas. It’s his first Grand Tour and he is ripping up climbs for fun.”

Matt White:
“At the start of the day the plan was to put someone in the breakaway, but no one expected it to be just two riders.  

“We had to make a decision if we wanted to go for a stage win. It’s the day before a rest day, Simon is in good form, the climb suited him well and so we went for it.

“We’ve never given up fight, but it’s not about gaining a few seconds here and there, the most positive thing is that Simon is moving in the right direction and that’s not the case for everyone in the top ten.”  

Giro d’Italia – Stage 15 Results:
1. Dario Cataldo (Astana Pro Team) 5:48:15
2. Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli Sidermac) ST
3. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:11 

Giro d’Italia – General Classification after Stage 15:
1. Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) 64:24:00
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:47
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +1:47
8. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +5:24

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.