Giro d’Italia: Simon Yates extends lead with stage 11 victory

Simon Yates celebrates winning stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia
Simon Yates is only the second British rider after Mark Cavendish to win multiples stages in the same Giro

Britain’s Simon Yates put in a sublime late attack to win his second stage of the Giro d’Italia and extend his advantage in the leader’s pink jersey.

Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates, 25, kicked with 1.5km to go and held off the pursuit of defending champion Tom Dumoulin to win in Osimo.

Yates, who won stage nine on Sunday, now leads Dumoulin by 47 seconds overall.

Giro d’Italia: Simon Yates extends lead with stage 11 victory
Giro d’Italia: Simon Yates extends lead with stage 11 victory

Team Sky’s Chris Froome lost more time, finishing 40 seconds down on Yates.

The four-time Tour de France champion has dropped to 12th overall, three minutes 20 seconds behind Yates, following Wednesday’s 156km stage from Assisi.

Yates, who picked himself to win this stage in his guide for BBC Sport, is only the second Briton after sprinter Mark Cavendish to win multiple stages in the same Giro.

Yates masters testing finale

Simon Yates celebrates winning stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia
Simon Yates crossed ahead of main rival Tom Dumoulin, who is expected to gain between one and two minutes on Yates during stage 16

With two steep climbs in a testing final 5km, including cobbles and sections of 16% gradient, the peloton sprinted to the foot of the first rise, swallowing up the final two riders from the breakaway, Luis Leon Sanchez and Alessandro de Marchi.

Quick-Step Floors’ Zdenek Stybar attacked, with stage four winner Tim Wellens bridging across as the pair built up a nine-second gap on the descent.

Froome was already in trouble behind, but Yates and the rest of the favourites reeled in the leading pair as the road started to rise again, with the Briton set up by Australian team-mate Jack Haig to kick on and quickly establish a lead.

Dumoulin responded well to limit his losses, with Domenico Pozzovivo and Thibaut Pinot close behind, but Yates was able to sustain his tempo over the crest of the final climb to cross the line two seconds in front of the Dutchman, also picking up four bonus seconds for victory.

Yates needs every second of advantage he can get over Dumoulin, with the world time trial champion expected to complete the 34.2km individual time trial on stage 16 between one and two minutes faster than the Briton.

But with the way Yates is climbing, the contest for the maglia rosa looks set to continue deep into the final week before the race ends in Rome on 27 May.

“It was an extremely difficult final,” Yates told Eurosport. “I’m super happy but would like a few easy days now before we get to the mountains.

“I need more time on these sort of stages. Because they are quite explosive, I can gain a second or two on Tom here. He’s a steady climber so it might be harder to drop him when we get to the longer climbs.”

Froome will ‘keep fighting’

Chris Froome
Chris Froome become only the third rider to win the Tour de France-Vuelta a Espana double in 2017

Froome’s bid to become just the third rider to win three successive Grand Tours already looks to be over, while a place on the podium is also slipping away.

The 32-year-old again could not respond to the attacks of his rivals on a short, sharp climb, while key team-mate Sergio Henao was also caught up in a crash during the finale.

Yet Froome said he would not consider pulling out of the race to focus instead on winning a fifth Tour title in July.

“My crash before the opening stage in Jersualem took a whack out of me. I’ve had a lot of pain down my right-hand side, and if you’re not at your best, there is nowhere to hide,” he told Eurosport.

“I’m going to keep fighting – it’s good to get the racing in my legs and I’ve not given up hope. You saw with Esteban Chaves losing time on stage 10 how quickly this race can change so I’m going to keep plugging away.

“I’m genuinely happy for Simon. It’s amazing to see another Briton in the pink jersey and he’s got a real chance of winning it.”

Thursday’s stage 12 runs 214km from Osimo to Imola and is expected to end in a bunch sprint finish.

Stage 11 result:

1. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) 3hrs 25mins 53secs

2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb) +2secs

3. Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora-Hansgrohe) +5secs

4. Alexandre Geniez (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) +8secs

5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) same time

6. Patrick Konrad (Aut/Bora-Hansgrohe)

7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ)

8. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger/Quick-Step Floors) +11secs

9. Rohan Dennis (Aus/BMC Racing Team) +18secs

10. Fabio Aru (Ita/UAE Team Emirates) +21secs

Overall standing after stage 11:

1. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) 47hrs 8mins 21secs

2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb) +47secs

3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +1min 4secs

4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 18secs

5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar) +1min 56secs

6. George Bennett (NZ/LottoNL-Jumbo) +2mins 9secs

7. Rohan Dennis (Aus/BMC Racing Team) +2mins 36secs

8. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Astana Pro Team) +2mins 54secs

9. Patrick Konrad (Aut/Bora-Hansgrohe) +2mins 55secs

10. Fabio Aru (Ita/UAE Team Emirates) +3mins 10secs


12. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +3mins 20secs

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