The slopes of Mount Etna hosted the first summit finish of this year’s Giro d’Italia and it really shook things up with an intriguing and dramatic day of racing. Mitchelton-Scott dominated with Esteban Chaves winning the stage, coming across the finish line just in front of his teammate Simon Yates, who relieved Rohan Dennis of the maglia rosa.
Rider of the Race
It took a long time for the day’s break to form and when it did, it was large and full of climbing talent – many of whom had the potential to cause GC headaches. You needed a supercomputer to keep track of all the permutations. With about 12kms to go, Esteban Chaves followed Sky’s Sergio Henao attack, looking very comfortable and dropping a few more of the break riders. Eventually, with 6kms to go, Chaves floated away from everyone, getting a good gap very quickly. He was away and he wasn’t going to get pulled back.
But my rider of the day is his fellow Mitchelton-Scott rider, Simon Yates. With the luxury of a teammate further up the road, he could sit easily in the chasing group while Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) had dig after dig, spitting a lot of guys out the back in the process. Chris Froome (Sky) looked fragile as they kept applying the pressure but they were all worrying about the wrong British rider.
Yates jumped off the favourites group with 2kms to go. It wasn’t a subtle move. He pretty much had a neon sign over his head flashing: “I’m going to head off now, boys!” However obvious it was, Yates hit a tempo no others could match and he caught up with Chaves easily. The two crossed the line together with the little Colombian taking the stage.
It was a mature ride from Yates and surely makes him a real consideration for the overall. He’ll be in pink tomorrow, but can he keep it over the weekend – and would he want to? It didn’t seem as if any of his rivals were holding back but he did have team strategy on his side.
Embed from Getty Images
The start was a little crazy, Esteban got in the break. It meant we could sit back, I could sit in the wheels and save energy. It worked out perfectly. I took my chance and got across [to Chaves], it worked out really good
Tweet of the Day
GC favourites roundup
This stage has started to shake out the GC. The GC top 5 (below) is now filled with favourites. Rohan Dennis dropped from 1st to 6th, 53secs behind Yates; Chris Froome lost more time but jumped in the position to 8th (+1.10); George Bennett and Fabio Aru are 9th and 10th respectively. Carlos Betancur is 11th at +1.21 and Michael Woods is +1.39. We’re going to retire Lopez from the favourites as he’s now 22nd with +2.12 back. And Max Schachmann lost the white jersey today.
Stage resultsEmbed from Getty Images
1 Estban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) 4:16:11
2 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) same time
3 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +26secs
4 George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) s/t
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) s/t
GC Top 5
1 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 22:46:03
2 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +0:16
3 Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:26
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrian-Merida) +0:43
5 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0:45
All the jerseysEmbed from Getty Images
Leader’s jersey: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Points jersey: Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
KOM jersey: Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott)
Best young rider: Richard Carapaz (Movistar)
For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News