Simon Yates not surprised by Giro d'Italia showing

14 May 2018 06:31
Simon Yates answers questions with the air of a man who doesn't quite understand what all the fuss is about. At his rest-day press conference in the Adriatic resort of Montesilvano on Monday afternoon, for instance, a television reporter gravely asked the maglia rosa if he believed he could win the Giro d'Italia. Yates' response to the million-dollar question was disarmingly matter-of-fact. "Yes," he said. "Of course." In a Giro billed beforehand as a duel between Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin, Yates has rather stolen the show over the opening nine stages. A stinging acceleration on Mount Etna on Thursday elevated him into the maglia rosa. A sharp sprint atop Gran Sasso d'Italia on Sunday extended his advantage. Neither success came as a surprise to the Mitchelton-Scott rider. "No, I've been targeting the Giro since the beginning of the year," Yates said. "I've prepared perfectly and arrived in great form. The numbers are not massive; I'm not doing spectacular numbers. So for me, it's not a surprise to be here."ADVERTISEMENT With two weeks of racing still to come, Yates holds a lead of 32 seconds over his teammate Esteban Chaves, while Dumoulin lies a further six seconds back in third. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) are the only other riders within a minute in the overall standings, and each man has impressed when the road has climbed. "I think many of our rivals are still very strong. Yesterday, I was impressed with Pozzovivo, he was very good on the climbs, and Pinot was still there, too," Yates said. "Those two look the most dangerous going uphill, but Tom is really still close with the TT still to come. We still need some more time, I think, but those three have impressed me the most." Since seizing the maglia rosa in Sicily last week, Yates has repeatedly highlighted the need to extend his buffer over the time triallists – Dumoulin, in particular – ahead of the stage 16 test in Trentino that kicks off the third week of racing. He returned to the mantra on Monday afternoon. Chaves You can read more at Cyclingnews.com . read full article

Source: Cycling News