Simon Yates has won his third stage of the Giro d’Italia in the Dolomites this afternoon and will go into Tuesday’s individual time trial with a lead of more than 2 minutes over his closest rival, defending champion Tom Dumoulin.
Yates, second to Chris Froome of Team Sky in yesterday’s summit finish on the Zoncolan, took a further 41 seconds out of Team Sunweb’s Dumoulin today and now lies 2 minutes 11 seconds ahead of the Dutchman in the overall standings.
Dumoulin, the world champion in the time trial, could wipe out that deficit on Tuesday but another commanding performance by Yates today means her has given himself every chance he could still be in pink following that stage.
The Briton attacked on the penultimate climb today, with 18 kilometres remaining of the 156-kilometre stage from Tolmezzo to Sappada.
Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana crossed the line just ahead of Dumoulin to take second place on the stage.
Froome’s victory yesterday saw him move into the top five overall, but he dropped two places to seventh today after finishing seventeenth on the stage, 1 minute 32 seconds behind the winner.
Afterwards, Yates said: “My attack was a little bit on instinct. I saw a little gap. I gave everything the second time to get away.
“It's fantastic. I feel emotional after today. I've been fighting since Israel to build a good lead.”
Looking ahead to Tuesday’s time trial, he said: “I'm happy with the gap I have now but it's far from over. It could vanish in 35 kilometres.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.