Three-time stage winner Simon Yates has retained the pink leader’s jersey at the Giro d’Italia today, despite losing a handful of seconds atop Prato Nevoso.
For the first time this Giro, the break was allowed to contest the stage, whilst Yates fell behind late attacks in the final kilometre to lose 27seconds and reduce his advantage to 28seconds on Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).
The first true breakaway day:
They established within the first 30km and with Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) the closest in the general classification battle at more than 30minutes adrift, they were allowed to quickly establish an advantage of ten-minutes.
The gap continued to grow to over 15minutes ahead of the final climb, and with a stage win up for grabs, the break attacked each other with Schachmann the victor from Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Team).
The battle behind:
The battle for the white jersey kicked off first with attacks from Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team). George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) was next before Yates covered a move from Dumoulin.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) reached the pair before attacking over the top. Dumoulin responded but Yates could not as he rode his own pace to the line, finishing 27seconds behind Dumoulin to retain the jersey for another day.
Simon Yates – Race Leader:
“The next couple of days suit me much better. Today was one effort in the final, but like the other stages we have had, tomorrow there are alot of passes and that will fatigue the other guys in the final which helps me alot more.
“Everyone is talking like Dumoulin is just a trial triallist, but he is a classy rider. I’m not surprised he attacked today and I’ve said all along we can’t write any of our rivals in the top ten off.”
Giro d’Italia – Stage 18 results:
Giro d’Italia – General classification after Stage 18: