Yates gets skates on

Stretches lead in Giro

Sport360 - - Front Page - By David Cooper @Sport360 edi­to­rial@sport360.com

Si­mon Yates ex­tended his lead in the Giro d’Italia on Wed­nes­day with a solo fin­ish giv­ing him the 11th stage vic­tory as fel­low Bri­ton Chris Froome lost more time.

The pink jer­sey wearer at­tacked on the fi­nal climb with a kilo­me­tre to ride to claim his sec­ond stage win this year, fin­ish­ing two sec­onds ahead of de­fend­ing cham­pion Tom Du­moulin.

Italy’s Da­vide For­molo was third a fur­ther three sec­onds be­hind af­ter the 156km hilly route from the cen­tral city of As­sisi across to Osimo near the Adri­atic coast.

Race favourite Froome again lost steam in the fi­nal climb with the four-time Tour de France win­ner fin­ish­ing in 42nd po­si­tion, some 40 sec­onds be­hind Yates.

The stage crossed through the home town of Ital­ian cy­clist Michele Scar­poni who was killed in a road ac­ci­dent a year ago.

Three break­away rid­ers Alessan­dro De Marchi, Leon Sanchez and Fausto Mas­nada were caught five kilo­me­tres from the line be­fore two steep climbs to the fin­ish.

Yates, who is com­pet­ing in his first Giro, has worn the leader’s jer­sey since the ar­rival at the vol­canic Mount Etna in Si­cily last Thurs­day.

The 25-year-old Mitchel­tonS­cott rider ex­tends his lead on Dutch­man Du­moulin by a fur­ther six sec­onds to 47sec.

Thurs­day’s 214km ride will be over a flat route from Osimo to Imola, two days be­fore the gru­elling moun­tain stage with a sum­mit fin­ish on Monte Zon­colan.

“It was an ex­tremely dif­fi­cult fi­nal,” Yates told Eurosport. “I’m su­per happy but would like a few easy days now be­fore we get to the moun­tains.

“I need more time on these sort of stages. Be­cause they are quite ex­plo­sive, I can gain a sec­ond or two on Tom here. He’s a steady climber so it might be harder to drop him when we get to the longer climbs.

“Tom 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.”

Speak­ing af­ter­wards, Froome said he would not pull out of the race and fo­cus in­stead on win­ning a fifth Tour ti­tle in July.

“My crash be­fore the open­ing stage in Jer­sualem took a whack out of me. I’ve had a lot of pain down my right-hand side, and if you’re not at your best, there is nowhere to hide,” Froome told Eurosport.

“I’m go­ing to keep fight­ing - it’s good to get the rac­ing in my legs and I’ve not given up hope. You saw with Es­te­ban Chaves los­ing time on stage 10 how quickly this race can change so I’m go­ing to keep plug­ging away.”

He added: “I’m gen­uinely happy for Si­mon. It’s amaz­ing to see another Bri­ton in the pink jer­sey.”

The man to beat: Si­mon Yates cel­e­brates be­ing fastest over the fin­ish­ing line dur­ing Stage 11 on Wed­nes­day.

Be­hind the lead­ing pack: Brit Chris Froome (c) fin­ished the day in 42nd place.

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