Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) took another step forward in is development Sunday with an impressive ride in the falling snow to end Tirreno-Adriatico's Queen Stage. The 22-year-old British rider climbed into contention for a podium, finishing seventh during Sunday's stage 5 and moving into sixth overall.
"Right now my legs are sore," Yates told Cyclingnews outside the Orica team bus as it waited to take the riders off the snow-covered slopes of Terminillo. "It was a pretty good performance. I'm happy with my performance going into these last couple of stages."
Yates finished the stage in a select group of six that included Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha), who were in hot pursuit of winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar). The Colombian had jumped away from the leaders with about 5km remaining.
"He was going quick, no one really reacted," Yates said. "He was clearly the strongest in the race."
Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) finished second on the stage, 41 seconds behind Quintana, while Yates' group came in 55 seconds back. He's now sixth overall behind Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Contador, 1:04 off the lead pace.
Quintana has a 39 second cushion over Mollema and 48 seconds over Etixx-Quickstep's Rigoberto Uran with Pinot fourth at 57 seconds.
It's a tightly packed general classification, but with just two stages remaining - one of them a 10km time trial - Yates believes the race is now Quintana's to lose.
"He's good at TT as well, so he's not going to lose a ridiculous amount of time there," Yates said of the race leader.
The young Brit was also played down his own chances of climbing higher in the overall standings before the race ends on Tuesday.
"There's a potential for me to lose quite a bit of time in the ITT," he admitted. "But in general, I can't complain. I'm up there with the best climbers in the world."