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Giro d’Italia Stage 18: Simon Yates shows weakness as Max Schachmann takes stage win from the break (+ videos)

Tom Dumoulin now just 28 seconds off the race lead

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) leads the Giro d’Italia by just 28 seconds after finally showing weakness on the first of three consecutive summit finishes.

The 196km stage from Abbiategrasso to Prato Nevoso featured a long flat start and then a summit finish. The breakaway managed to stay away and 24-year-old German rider Maximillian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) took his maiden Grand Tour stage victory.

The main drama, however, was still to come.

Yates’s closest rival, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) attacked with about 1.5km but couldn’t shake the race leader or third-placed Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida).

Chris Froome (Team Sky) quickly followed them, then counter-attacked, and it was at this point that Yates was dropped.

Froome, Dumoulin and Pozzovivo caught up with Froome’s team-mate Wout Poels up ahead and the Dutchman drove them on until he somewhat bizarrely took a wrong turning.

Yates, meanwhile, was struggling to hold the wheels and by the finish had surrendered half of his advantage.

Speaking after the stage, he said: “I just had no legs at the end. But it's ok. I did the best I could and I'm still happy with the remaining lead I have. I'm still ahead so it's fine with me.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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