Adam Yates gained time on Primož Roglič on stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico, extending his race lead from 7 to 25 seconds. The Mitchelton-Scott man played down his of securing overall victory though, saying it was simply “not enough”
“In the back of my head I’d have liked 45 seconds to be safe. In my mind, it’s not enough,” he said, pragmatically.
“We all know Roglič is a super time trialist and on a course like this one, he’ll take a lot of time out of me. I can only try my best and see what happens. I’ll try my best but I can’t do more.”
Yates attacked with two of the steep Marche climbs left to race, including the tough 7 per cent climb to the finish in Recanati. Roglič went with him before Yates attacked again with two kilometres to go. The Briton opened a 16-second gap on the Slovene, gaining two extra bonus seconds at the finish. He's still in the blue jersey, but Roglič is lurking like a shark and only need to avoid losing any time during Monday’s sprint stage to Jesi.
“I lost 36 seconds [to Roglič] in last year’s time trial,” Yates explained, crunching the numbers and the details of the final 10km along the San Benedetto del Tronto seafront.
“If you ask me, that’s a big loss. It’s not a course that suits me. If there were hills in the course or if it was more technical, I’d have more confidence. But I’ve done the TT three or four times and every year I lose a big chunk of time. It is what it is.”
Yates perhaps needed to attack Roglic earlier, but he could not risk going too deep too early and exposing himself to attacks.
“When Fuglsang attacked it was still a long way to the finish to go solo,” he suggested
“There was fatigue in the legs after yesterday and that’s a big effort. In the group behind there was 20 riders or so, and some big-name riders with teammates. If I’d have gone after Fuglsang, I could have lost a lot of energy before the real final. It’s all tactical. I decided to wait and then went with two climbs to go. Roglič came with me and that was it.”
Whatever the final result, Yates is virtually certain to finish on the final podium, even with Fuglsang now third, only ten seconds further back from Roglič. Fourth placed Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) is at 1:55.
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