Simon Yates assumes Giro d’Italia mantle as Irish riders suffer

Posted on: May 13th, 2018

Simon Yates Giro maglia rosa stage 9 win

There may be a very long way to go still on this Giro d’Italia, but Simon Yates is revelling in race leadership. He is taking on the shape of a rider who looks like he can win this race; taking the stage 9 summit finish today.


Simon Yates growing in Giro maglia rosa with stage win


He may have already taken the leader’s jersey and ridden like a champion on this Giro, but today Simon Yates truly assumed the mantle of race leader and potential winner.

With older more established names scrapping for time behind him, Yates did what very few can; win a Grand Tour mountain stage in the leader’s jersey.

And while the event is not even at the halfway point, Yates is looking very good indeed.

At the end of today’s stage 9 – some 225km from Pesco Sannita to Gran Sasso d’Italia – two riders could live with him in the final kick for the summit finish line.

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Yates’ Mitchelton-Scott team and smiling sidekick Esteban Chaves.

While some of the others were not far behind; they all lost time to the winner and maglia rosa.

Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) was with yesterday’s stage winner and young rider classification leader Richard Carapaz (Movistar); 4th and 5th just four seconds back.

Another general classification man to lose time was Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe). The young Italian was 6th at 10 seconds.

George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) was 7th at 12 seconds and he was with some big names, all of whom lost the same, small but not insignificant, time.

They were Rom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar).

One has to scan deeper down the order to see the name of Chris Froome; the Team Sky man back in 23rd place and 1:07 down.

He was at the back, or at least he was supposed to be; of a group led by team mate Wout Poels.

However, while Poels led home six men, including former race leader Rohan Dennis (BMC), Froome slipped off the back finishing five seconds behind.

And further behind Froome was Fabio Aru; the UAE Team Emirates man some 1:14 down on Yates.

Froome and Aru were distanced with 2km to go on the final climb to the summit finish.

Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani-CSF) and Pozzovivo were the two who pressed hardest on the front in the final. And when they did only four men could respond; Yates, Pinot, Chaves and Carapaz.

But when the finish line came into view Yates packed the most power in the sprint, easily taking the stage.

And he now goes into the rest day with the race lead and having dealt a psychological blow to his rivals; except Pinot.

The Irish riders lost lots of time today. While Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) and Ryan Mullen (Trek-Segafredo) are not in this race to climb, more is expected of Nicolas Roche (BMC).

However, he was 124th and in a large group 25:58 down. Bennett was 144th at 28:23 and Mullen on place and six more seconds back.