Despite some bad luck in stage 4's fraught uphill finale to Caltagirone, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) battled back to take fourth on the stage and move into third overall, continuing his excellent start to the Giro d'Italia this year.
And in Mitchelton-Scott's management, considering what is on the Giro d'Italia menu in the next few days, there is a growing sense of anticipation at what Yates could achieve in the Giro d'Italia.
"For Etna, Tom [Dumoulin] and Yatesy are the two best placed GC guys," Mitchelton-Scott director Matt White told Cyclingnews after stage 4. "We'll take it day by day, but it's a nice start."
White explained that Yates' strong showing came despite getting caught behind when a rider ahead of him began to falter.
"Jack Haig and Esteban Chaves were first and second through the [final] corner and a Bora guy, going fifth wheel, lost that wheel," White said.
"Four riders went away, and Yates was in a group behind. He got caught behind, then he had to bridge across, and when he got there, just at that point, [Tim] Wellens went."
White congratulated Wellens on his well-calculated stage win, saying, "he deserved it."
He was also satisfied with how Yates has come through the Giro's first four stages, and in particular after a stage that he said was, "nearly six hours in the saddle and a warm day, too. It was a tough day.
"We've moved up to third overall, and it's always good when you're gaining, even if it's only seconds," White mused. "Every second you can take on these guys, we'll take it."
Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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