Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) beat Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale) in a two-rider sprint to win in Gualdo Tadino after the longest stage of the Giro d’Italia saw Esteban Chaves tumble out of the overall classification.
Chaves, apparently suffering from allergies, lacked the power to stay with the peloton and was distanced on the first climb of the day as Team Sky set a fast pace. Despite a long chase lead by several teammates, Chaves never made it back to the peloton. His teammates were eventually ordered to sit up and the Chaves group finished 25 minutes down. He slipped from second to 39th in the overall standings.
In contrast, Simon Yates was again strong on the rolling country roads of Abruzzo, Le Marche and Umbria, even taking an intermediate sprint to gain some seconds on his rivals. Yates finished safely in the peloton, 34 seconds behind Mohoric but is now Mitchelton-Scott’s sole leader for the second half of the Corsa Rosa. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) survived a late crash and bike change to move up to second overall, 41 down on Yates. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) moved up to third place at 46 seconds.
“He [Chaves] just had a bad moment and like that, it’s over. It was a really hard chase. I know he’s worked extremely hard for this. Maybe he can bounce back and get a few stage wins,” Yates said immediately after finishing the stage, denying that it perhaps makes it easier for him as sole leader at Mitchelton-Scott.
“It would have been better for me if he was still there in the classification. We could have played more cards in the finale and different tactics. Now I’m alone. I think it’ll be more difficult now but we’ll have to adjust.”
Yates explained that he went for the intermediate sprint because every second could count in the fight for the maglia rosa.
Mohoric takes the sprint from the front
The longest day in the saddle
A new stage strategy emerges
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