Giro: Tough Day for Yates on Stage 18

Three-time stage winner Simon Yates (Michleton Scott) has retained the pink leader’s jersey at the Giro d’Italia today, despite losing a handful of seconds atop Prato Nevoso.

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Giro: Tough Day for Yates on Stage 18

Three-time stage winner Simon Yates has retained the pink leader’s jersey at the Giro d’Italia today, despite losing a handful of seconds atop Prato Nevoso.

For the first time this Giro, the break was allowed to contest the stage, whilst Yates fell behind late attacks in the final kilometre to lose 27seconds and reduce his advantage to 28seconds on Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).

It took 18 stages, but today’s breakaway of 12 riders was the first allowed out to a sizeable advantage. They established within the first 30km and with Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) the closest in the general classification battle at more than 30minutes adrift, they were allowed to quickly establish an advantage of ten-minutes.

The gap continued to grow to over 15minutes ahead of the final climb, and with a stage win up for grabs, the break attacked each other with Schachmann the victor from Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Team). With the stage win out of their hands, the race only began for the favourites group on the final climb.
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The battle for the white jersey kicked off first with attacks from Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team). George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) was next before Yates covered a move from Dumoulin. Chris Froome (Team Sky) reached the pair before attacking over the top. Dumoulin responded but Yates could not as he rode his own pace to the line, finishing 27seconds behind Dumoulin to retain the jersey for another day.

Simon Yates – Race Leader: “I felt good until the final, I didn’t have great legs there at the end, so I did the best I could and that’s it. I’m still in front and I’d prefer to be in front than behind, so it’s all good. If this is my worst day, this is a good thing.”

“The next couple of days suit me much better. Today was one effort in the final, but like the other stages we have had, tomorrow there are alot of passes and that will fatigue the other guys in the final which helps me alot more. Everyone is talking like Dumoulin is just a trial triallist, but he is a classy rider. I’m not surprised he attacked today and I’ve said all along we can’t write any of our rivals in the top ten off.”
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Tom Dumoulin: said: “Finally I took some time back. Today was perfect for me, slow and then full gas uphill. I was waiting until the right moment and at two kilometres to go I tried to see what was possible. Yates responded to my first attack, then Froome attacked and took me and Pozzovivo. Later I found out Yates was dropped which was of course good for me, but I didn’t expect him to drop. It’s been a good day but I know that the coming two days are going to be much different so we will just have to see how things go. The race isn’t over.”

Chris Froome: “Wout was feeling good so we agreed that he’d push on and see what would happen in the last few kilometres if I could get across to him. It worked out really well. I had no idea (Yates) was on the limit there. Only when I accelerated did I turn around to see Pozzovivo and Dumoulin with me and not Simon. The race is still on – with two extremely hard days coming up now. We’ve got Colle Delle Finestre tomorrow so there’s all still to race for.”

Domenico Pozzovivo: “I was focused on Dumoulin and Froome. They attacked as I expected, because the final climb suit them both and their attacks hurt the Maglia Rosa. In this moment may big aim is the podium, but I will try to take a win if there is the chance”

Giro d’Italia – Stage 18 results:
1. Maximillian Schacmann (Quick-Step-Floors) 04:55:42
2. Ruben Plaza (Israel-Cycling-Academy) +0:10
3. Mattia Cattaneo (Androni-Sidermec) +0:16
20. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +11:31

Giro d’Italia – General classification after Stage 18:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 75:06:24
2. Tom Dumoulin (Team-Sunweb) +0:28
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) +2:43

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

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