Froome’s Giro hopes fade in 11th stage

Viet Nam News - - SPORT -

OSIMO — Chris Froome’s Giro d’Italia hopes took a killer blow on Wed­nes­day as the Bri­ton lost even more time in the 11th stage won by over­all leader Si­mon Yates.

The 25-year-old Yates ex­tended his ad­van­tage as Froome, 32, lost more time and is now nearly three min­utes be­hind his com­pa­triot.

“I cer­tainly haven’t given up hope,” in­sisted Froome. “I’m go­ing to keep plug­ging away, I’m mo­ti­vated, the team’s mo­ti­vated and we’re go­ing to do as much as we can.”

Yates 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.

The Mitchel­ton-Scott rider extends his lead on Dutch­man Du­moulin by a fur­ther six sec­onds to 47sec.

“Tom (Du­moulin) is the one who is wor­ry­ing me, he’s still too close,” said Yates who is also King of the Moun­tains.

“He was chasing me and he looked bet­ter than other days on steep fin­ishes. He’s get­ting bet­ter as the race goes on.

“The Giro has been in my head since last win­ter. It’s my ob­jec­tive this year.”

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.

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.

Nowhere to hide for Froome

Team Sky rider Froome has strug­gled at key mo­ments since the start of the race – fall­ing twice – and is now over three min­utes off the lead.

He needs a mir­a­cle to re­vive his at­tempt to be­come the first rider to win three Grand Tours in a row since French­man Bernard Hin­ault in 1982/ 83.

He had been re­duced to a spec­ta­tor’s role in the bat­tle for the pink jer­sey which for now is a twohorse race be­tween Yates and Du­moulin.

“It was a tough day, it wasn’t as long as yes­ter­day, but it was an­other pretty bru­tal fin­ish,” said Froome.

“I’m not go­ing to lie, it took a whack out of me that crash be­fore the start in Jerusalem and in this game if you’re not at your ab­so­lute best there’s nowhere to hide.

“I’m go­ing to keep fight­ing, it’s good to get this rac­ing in the legs.”

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, Luis Leon Sanchez and Fausto Mas­nada were caught 5km 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.

“We de­cided be­fore the stage that we wouldn’t chase be­cause nor­mally on such a fi­nale there are faster guys like Tim Wel­lens,” ex­plained Yates.

“Other teams did that for the stage win. The plan was that if it came back I would, of course, try.” — AFP

Fall­ing be­hind: Froome com­petes in the Giro d’Italia on Wed­nes­day. — Photo zonacero.com

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