Giro d’Italia: Simon Yates takes overall lead as Esteban Chaves wins stage six

Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates
Yates (R) finished in the wheel tracks of Colombian team-mate Chaves, who took his second Giro stage win and first of 2018

Britain’s Simon Yates stormed into the overall lead in the Giro d’Italia as team-mate Esteban Chaves won stage six.

Yates, 26, attacked in the last two kilometres of the 163km stage to Mount Etna with his rivals for the general classification unable to react.

He now leads from reigning champion Tom Dumoulin by 16 seconds, with Chaves 26 seconds back.

Giro d’Italia: Simon Yates takes overall lead as Esteban Chaves wins stage six
Giro d’Italia: Simon Yates takes overall lead as Esteban Chaves wins stage six

Chris Froome sits eighth, one minute 10 seconds behind his compatriot, after crossing the line in the second group.

All the talk in the build-up to this race had been of Froome’s bid to make history as only the third man to win three of cycling’s Grand Tours in a row.

But Bury’s Yates rode away from him – as well as Dumoulin and Thibaut Pinot – with blistering ease, bridging across to his Michelton-Scott team-mate Chaves who had broken away with 6km to go.

Australian Rohan Dennis had taken a one-second advantage into the stage, but fell away in the final climb to cede the maglia rosa.

Yates becomes only the fourth Briton to wear the pink jersey in the Giro after Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins and David Millar.

It is the one Grand Tour that no Briton has ever won, and with 15 stages still to come before the race finishes in Rome Yates will expect that jersey to come under tremendous pressure, not least from Dumoulin on the time-trial on stage 16.

But for now he can celebrate, the big winner on the spectacular 15km ascent of Etna.

“It felt really good,” Yates told Eurosport. “There was a little bit of a gap, so I took the chance.

“I said to him [Chaves] as soon as I caught him that he could take the stage. He deserved it.”

Stage six result:

1 Esteban Chaves (Col/Mitchelton-Scott) 4hrs 16mins 10secs

2 Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) Same time

3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +26secs

4 George Bennett (NZ/LottoNL-Jumbo) Same time

5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain-Merida)

6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana Pro Team)

7 Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar Team)

8 Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb)

9 Fabio Aru (Ita/UAE Team Emirates)

10 Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky)

Overall standings:

1 Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) 22hrs 46mins 3secs

2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb) +16secs

3 Esteban Chaves (Col/Mitchelton-Scott) +26secs

4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain-Merida +43secs

5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +45secs

6 Rohan Dennis (Aus/BMC Racing) +53secs

7 Pello Bilbao (Spa/Astana Pro Team) +1min 3secs

8 Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +1min 10secs

9 George Bennett (NZ/LottoNL-Jumbo) +1min 11secs

10 Fabio Aru (Ita/UAE Team Emirates) +1min 12secs

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