Simon Yates overall lead in Tirreno Adriatico
Yates conquers the Queen stage to move into the overall lead at Tirreno Adriatico
Vuelta a España champion Simon Yates showed the first signs of top form today, attacking with four kilometers to go to take a spectacular solo victory on today’s Queen stage at Tirreno Adriatico.
Yates crossed the line with a 16-second advantage over Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe) on the summit finish, which proved to be enough to put him into the overall race lead and make it Mitchelton-SCOTT’s second consecutive victory, following on from teammate Lucas Hamilton’s win yesterday.
10 take it on
The Queen stage began with the road heading north with a group of 10 riders jumping away shortly after the start flag dropped.
With a long way to go and 4142metres of climbing to be covered, the peloton and general classification contenders were happy to let the group go, as they rode out to a maximum advantage of five and a half minutes.
Together for the climb
The final seven-kilometre ascent up to Sarnano-Sassotetto approached and the breakaway remains were swallowed up after Mitchelton-SCOTT placed Michael Hepburn on the front to assist EF Pro Cycling with the chase.
At the bottom of the climb the GC contenders began to attack, and the group quickly reduced down to around 30 riders.
Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) followed the flowing moves, counterattacking with Yates attentive, making contact and then passing the Trek-Segafredo rider.
Simon goes solo
Yates glanced behind and realising that he had opened up a small gap, continued to power on ahead into the final four kilometres of the race.
Behind, Majka, Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers), Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck-Quickstep) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana Pro Team) tried to draw back the 28-year-old but the gap began to extend out to 25 seconds.
The accelerations caused race leader Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) to drop off the pace, with Yates able to extend his advantage to cross the line 35seconds ahead of second place and move into the overall race lead.
Simon Yates – Stage 5 winner
“It was a really good day, a lot of good work from the team and I knew I had good legs already from yesterday.
"Today was a big opportunity to take the jersey and to take some time, with the time trial on the last day I need a good buffer.
“It was already a fast pace first by EF Pro Cycling and then by Astana Pro Cycling. Majka attacked to really start the show, I saw an opportunity and really took it. I saw straight away that I had a gap so just went full gas.
“I am very wary because I know it will be seconds that this race is won by so I just have to try to do my best now in the next stages.”
Tirreno Adriatico – Stage 5 Results:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 5:30:43
2. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:16
3. Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe) +0:35
Tirreno Adriatico – General Classification after Stage 5:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 23:36:59
2. Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe) +0:16
3. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:39