Yates wins stage to extend Giro lead

Yates wins stage to extend Giro lead

But Yates's Colombian team-mate Esteban Chaves had a disastrous day as he was distanced on the opening climb of the 244km stage from Penne to Gualdo Tadino and lost more than 25min to drop out of overall contention having started the day second at 32sec.

Froome finished safely in the pack and now sits two-and-a-half minutes off the pink jersey, though he moves up to 10th after Chaves' struggles.

What was expected to be a quiet transition stage turned into a frantic day of racing after Chaves was dropped on the category-two climb that opened the day's racing.

Already holding a 41-second lead at the top of the general classification and with a technical uphill finish, received wisdom would have dictated that Simon Yates should play it safe in the Osimo finale. "But we've got some extremely tough racing coming and we've got a long time trial as well". Maybe I pulled a bit more than him. Two minutes down on the peloton, Chaves received assistance from Bewley and two other teammates to desperately try and bring him back, while Quick-Step helped them out to try and revive the chances of sprinting favourite Elia Viviani.

The Brit completed the race in 3:25:53, out sprinting Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) to the line.

As the attacks petered out, Mohoric stayed clear alongside AG2R La Mondiale's Nico Denz and had enough to hold him off at the line, winning some 34 seconds ahead of the main bunch, led by sprinter Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe).

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The stage victor, Matej Mohoric, said: “Todays goal was to make the breakaway.

"I was going to go for the bonus sprint because I need to gain time on Dumoulin but, when I saw Pinot getting a lead out, I went past him, " Yates said.

The four-time Tour de France victor lost time in the mountains of the southern Abruzzo region on Sunday, and is 11th overall after nine stages. He gave me the green light. "I felt good all day and I'm really pleased that I took advantage of the opportunity".

"I was not confident to beat Nico Denz". It was a hard stage and subsequently a different sprint than if we had arrived fresh. I m not very good in a sprint from a slow speed so I launched and I increased my speed as much as I could.

Another hilly stage is scheduled for Wednesday with a 156-kilometer leg from Assisi to Osimo that concludes with a short but steep climb.

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