Giro d’Italia: Froome wins from Yates

Stage 14 up the iconic Monte Zoncolan saw Chris Froome win the stage chased by Simon Yates who increased his lead in the Pink jersey

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Giro d’Italia: Froome wins from Yates

Stage 14 up the iconic Monte Zoncolan saw Chris Froome win the stage chased by Simon Yates who increased his lead in the Pink jersey

Chris Froome claimed victory atop the Monte Zoncolan as stage 14 produced a thrilling finale at the Giro d’Italia. The Team Sky leader,  after a strong tempo from Wout Poels, launched a big acceleration with 4.2 kilometres to go. Froome quickly opened up a gap and was then able to fend off a late charge from the maglia rosa Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), eventually crossing the line six seconds ahead to take a memorable win.

Whilst Yates finished six-seconds behind Chris Froome (Team Sky), the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider gained time on all his other rivals to put him one-minute 24 seconds 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.
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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. 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.
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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.”

Froome said: “It’s a really special feeling winning at the top of the climb today. It’s an amazing feeling on such a monumental climb on this year’s Giro d’Italia and such a monumental climb for the race in general. It’s just such a good feeling, especially after a really hard start to the Giro for me and the team. The team have been supporting me so well these last few weeks it’s so nice to get the victory today and it really means a lot”.

“I felt like that (4km) was the moment that the race was really on the limit. I felt that was the moment for me to go. I’d obviously done the recon here and I knew the last few kilometres. The team had done a great job pulling me to that moment. Wout had done a big effort and made it really hard up until that point with 4km to go. Even right until the line Simon was just behind me. I kept on hearing 10 seconds, five seconds, 10 seconds. I didn’t know if he was going to catch me or not so it was such a relief to get into that last 100 metres and to hear that I was going to win the stage.”

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

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.



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