Giro d'Italia 2018: Rest Day 3 Recap

Simon Yates stamps his authority in the second week of the corsa rosa

The second week of the Giro d'Italia saw Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) confirm his status as the strongest rider in the race and strengthen his grip on the maglia rosa with two further stage victories and second place on Monte Zoncolan.

It was a meant to be a week filled with intermediate and sprint stages, ahead of a mountainous weekend billing, but the drama came early on Tuesday's mammoth 244km rolling stage from Penne to Gualdo Tadino, where Yates' teammate Esteban Chaves was unceremoniously dumped out of the general classification contest. Having perhaps misjudged the rest day, Chaves, who was second overall, was dropped on the early climb of Fonte della Creta and eventually lost 25 minutes after a protracted and ultimately futile chase. Once the dust had settled, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) broke free of the reduced peloton and dispatched Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale) in a two-up sprint.

The following stage featured an uphill finale in Osimo, and Yates once again showed his rivals a clean pair of heels. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) held him in a dramatic pursuit but Yates clung on for his second stage win. The time gaps were small but Yates' display was once again significant.

The long stage to the Imola racing circuit on Wednesday started out quietly enough but intensified in the final hour thanks to driving rain and wind. The bunch split in the finale, leaving Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) out of the equation and the door open for Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), who seized the moment with a spectacular long-range effort on the F1 track. Viviani would have his revenge a day later as he triumphed in a more traditional bunch sprint in Nervesa della Battaglia.

Saturday saw the stage everyone had been waiting for, finishing atop the fearsome Monte Zoncolan, widely billed as the hardest climb in Europe. It turned out to be the scene of a remarkable resurgence from Chris Froome (Team Sky), who attacked with 4.3km to go and soloed all the way to the top. Yates soon attacked himself and was bearing down on his compatriot throughout the final kilometre, and although he was unable to make the catch and claim the stage win, he put time into his direct rivals, with Dumoulin and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) finishing a little behind Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana).

Sunday saw a more subtle - but still very hilly - stage in the Dolomites, with four categorised climbs ahead of the uphill finish to Sappada. Yates became the first rider since 2003 to win three stages in pink as he left his rivals for dead on the final climb, finishing 41 seconds ahead of an uncooperative chase group of Dumoulin, Pozzovivo, Pinot, Lopez, and Richard Carapaz. Froome's resurgence proved a false dawn; the Sky rider was dropped just before Yates' attack and eventually lost 1:30.

Stage 10: Penne - Gualdo Tadino, 244km

Winner: Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida)
Leader: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

Stage 11: Assisi - Osimo, 156km

Winner: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Leader: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

Stage 12: Osimo - Imola, 214km

Winner: Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Leader: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

Stage 13: Ferrara - Nervesa della Battaglia, 180km

Winner: Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
Leader: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

Stage 14: San Vito al Tagliamento - Monte Zoncolan, 186km

Winner: Chris Froome (Team Sky)
Leader: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

Stage 15: Tolmezzo - Sappada, 176km

Winner: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Leader: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

General classification after stage 15
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott65:57:37 
2Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb0:02:11 
3Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:02:28 
4Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:02:37 
5Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:04:27 
6Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:04:47 
7Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky0:04:52 
8George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo0:05:34 
9Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:05:59 
10Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:06:13 

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