Paris-Nice stage winner Simon Yates has finished fifth and stolen valuable seconds in a thrilling stage 13 at the Tour de France today.
The shortest stage of the Tour, at just 101km, featured three tough category-one climbs and set the scene for an aggressive day of racing as teams attacked from the opening flag to the final closing metres.
After losing touch slightly on the final climb, Yates re-joined the yellow jersey group on the descent and attacked in the final to finish alongside Dan Martin (Quickstep Floors), one-minute 39seconds down on stage winner Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb).
The 24-year-old ORICA-SCOTT rider gained nine seconds on race leader Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) and closest best young rider rival Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates) and now sits seventh overall.
“I enjoy days like today where you can really get stuck in and give it a go,” Yates said at the finish. “It was a short stage, very aggressive and I’m sure it was exciting to watch. Yesterday was more about survival because it was such a long day and you really have to worry about a lot of things and saving the legs.”
“I felt OK today, I wasn’t super on the final climb but I managed to get back and then it was a heap of games between the guys down the descent in the last 30km.
“I managed to sneak away, catch Dan (Martin) and we worked well to the finish. We put a little bit of time into some guys, it was only a few seconds in the end but everything helps.”
How it happened:
At just 101km in length, the short and sharp stage 12 encouraged aggressive racing and it certainly delivered.
After a number of attempts, general classification contenders Mikel Landa (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Trek Segafredo) rode themselves to the front of proceedings and put the pressure on the yellow jersey of Aru as their advantage crept towards three-minutes.
Behind, a counter attack involving Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) and King of the Mountain leader Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) set off and eventually caught the duo.
The pace saw the yellow jersey group whittle down to the major contenders as they tried to unite and then attack each other to minimise the losses.
Eventually, it was an attack by Martin and then bridge by Yates that split the main contenders group in the final kilometres as the duo worked together to the line.
Ahead, Barguil sprinted to stage victory from the surviving breakaway group of four.
Tour de France – Stage 13 Results:
1. Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) 2:36:29
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) ST
3. Alberto Contador (Trek – Segafredo) ST
5. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +1:39
Tour de France – General Classification Results after Stage 13:
1. Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) 55:30:06
2. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +0:06
3. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) +0:25
7. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +2:04