Giro d'Italia: A different kind of opening act for Simon Yates

17 May 2019 12:37
A different kind of opening act for Simon Yates. This time last year, the Briton was already in the maglia rosa at the Giro d’Italia, having seized the overall lead on Mount Etna on stage 6. In the days that followed, the Briton sought to add seconds everywhere he could. By the end of the second week, he had notched up three stage victories, but those efforts ultimately contributed to his undoing on the Colle de Finestre, just two days short of the finish in Rome. By last Autumn’s Vuelta a España, where he rode into Madrid as an emphatic overall winner, Yates had already digested and applied the harsh lessons of the Giro by doling out his energy more sparingly in the first half of the race. On this Giro, he has no choice but to do so. This time around, the terrain of the Giro’s first week has offered few chances for the general classification contenders to snatch seconds from one another. In the absence of early summit finishes, the emphasis has been on avoiding time loss rather than actively trying to gain ground on rivals. With the mountains back loaded into the second part of the race, patience and vigilance are the bywords for the GC contenders though the opening salvoes.ADVERTISEMENT “It’s just a different way of managing the first week,” Mitchelton-Scott directeur sportif Matt White told Cyclingnews. “Just managing to stay warm, fuelling properly and staying out of trouble is the key for these first 12 stages before we get up into the mountains. I’ve been on most of the Giros in the last 20 years and I’ve never been on one that’s been as cold and wet, and we are quite far south in Italy.” Although the route is very different in 2019, many of the principles that guided Mitchelton-Scott’s thinking last year remain in place. In 2018, for instance, Yates’ best climbing domestiques regularly sat up on the eve of key mountain stages to ensure they were fresh enough to be at his side the next day. Though this Giro’s long trek south to Puglia and back north again, Yates’ bodyguards on the flatter stages have rotated their days on duty. “We’re managing the load of the riders helping Simon, too. You can’t lean on the same one or two guys to ride every day for the first 12 days,” White explained. “We’re managing that load and staying out of trouble.” Crash You can read more at Cyclingnews.com.readfullarticle

Source: Cycling News