Simon Yates sprints to stage 11 victory


Simon Yates sprints to stage 11 victory

´╗┐New Zealand cyclist George Bennett has stayed in the mix on the Giro d'Italia.

Esteban Chaves, who came into the day placed second overall, lost a flabbergasting 25 minutes, plummeting out of contention and in the process moving Bennett up a spot into sixth place.

The four-time Tour de France victor lost time in the mountains of the southern Abruzzo region on Sunday, and is 11th overall after nine stages.

Michael Woods lost more than a minute on the latest stage while Chris Froome had more problems, losing 40s.

"We decided before the stage that we wouldn't chase because normally on such a finale there are faster guys like Tim Wellens", Yates said.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider took his second stage win, but fellow Brit Chris Froome continues to struggle.

Yates now leads Dumoulin by 47s. Thibaut Pinot was third.

"They let me try and win a stage, although we're racing for Domenico Pozzovivo on GC".

"It was a tough day, it wasn't as long as yesterday, but it was another pretty brutal finish", said Froome. Tom was chasing me all the way to the line, " Yates said. I m not scared of the third week; I m scared of the time trial. I already have a good gap to Froome. "But I have to keep trying because I still don't have enough".

Carapaz stormed the end of the final climb to pass Koen Bouwman, who led for most of the day.

"I'm not going to lie, it took a whack out of me that crash before the start in Jerusalem and in this game if you're not at your absolute best there's nowhere to hide". Just a few days ago, I enjoyed one of the best days of my career and now it's hard for my morale.

"I had good legs, so I chose to attack from far out, two kilometers to go".

"I wouldn't say it's likely at this point, but stranger things have happened". "I'm going to keep plugging away". "We don't have each other to play off, but we still have a strong team".

France's Thibaut Pinot would end eight seconds adrift of Yates on the stage, which took place in the hometown of the late Michele Scarponi, who was killed in a training ride a year ago.

With two steep climbs in a testing final 5km, including cobbles and sections of 16% gradient, the peloton sprinted to the foot of the first rise, swallowing up the final two riders from the breakaway, Luis Leon Sanchez and Alessandro de Marchi. They were swiftly joined by Fausto Masnada.

They got the deficit back to a minute, but for the rest of the peloton, this was a ideal opportunity to vanquish a contender.

Quick-Step Floors' Zdenek Stybar attacked, with stage four victor Tim Wellens bridging across as the pair built up a nine-second gap on the descent.

After another flat stage, the race features a climb up Monte Zoncolan on Saturday and a gruelling leg through the Dolomite Range on Sunday.

The Giro ends in Rome on May 27.