A shorter stage, a lively route with a tricky, steep, cobbled finish – used in stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico and won by Adam Yates – that wound round the ramparts of the historic finish town. This should’ve suited a punchy, explosive rider. It did, but not one everybody expected. Race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) shot up that final climb like a rocket to take his second stage win. Defending champion Tom Dumoulin had him in his sights but couldn’t close the gap on that final cobbled kilometre, which seemed to go on forever. However, he’s only 47 secs back. Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe) took third place. The top two tightened their grip on GC and there are now only four riders within two minutes of Yates.
Rider of the Race
It’s tempting to give the award (again) to the race leader who is riding with such assurance and panache. However, I’m going to give it to one of his hardworking teammates who’s most definitely Mitchelton-Scott’s MVP, Jack Haig. As Mikkel Conde explains, and I concur [as do we all! – ed] :
However, it’s worth remembering that the 24-year-old Australian collected a number of podiums last year and finished 21st overall in the Vuelta a Espana. This year he was runner-up in Itzulia’s youth classification, a race in which he also picked up the hotly contested Ginger Cup and finished 16th overall, earning him a “Fresh Face” nomination. We’re keeping a close eye on him.
Here’s what today’s stage winner Simon Yates had to say:
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I’d prefer to be gaining more time on Tom [Dumoulin]. He was really chasing me all the way to the finish there. He looks better than the other day on the steep finishes there. I think he’s getting better as the race goes on, and that’s not good news for me.
That was an incredible battle between Dumoulin and Yates, truly a summation of the Giro thus far. It was Dumoulin’s best ride since the opening time-trial. He went after Yates and, though he didn’t catch him, neither did he crack. His form appears to be on the rise. Next week’s TT will be so important and possibly even conclusive. Yates has already said he needs to build an advantage of at least 3 minutes over Dumoulin before it.Embed from Getty Images
Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) didn’t have the same turn of speed as the top two though he did manage to hang onto fourth-placed Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida). Rohan Dennis (BMC) held his own on a finish that really doesn’t suit him. Chris Froome slips out of the top ten to 12th, 3:20 back.
If only Davide Formolo hadn’t lost those five minutes on stage 6 to Etna he’d probably be fighting for a podium spot. If his form continues to build, a top-10 on GC might be achievable.
Tweet of the Day
Today’s stage passed through Filottrano, the hometown of the late Michele Scarponi.
1 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 3:25:53
2 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) +0:02
3 Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe) +0:05
4 Alexander Geniez (Ag2r La Mondiale) +0:08
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) same time
GC Top 10
1 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 47:08:21
2 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) +0:47
3 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +1:04
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) +1:18
5 Richard Carapaz (Movistar) +1:56
6 George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) +2:09
7 Rohan Dennis (BMC) +2:36
8 Pello Bilbao (Astana) +2:54
9 Patrick Konrad (Bora-hansgrohe) +2:55
10 Fabio Aru (UAE-Emirates) +3:10
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Points jersey: Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
KOM jersey: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Best young rider: Richard Carapaz (Movistar)
For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News
Header image: ©GETTYImages