At the moment, Yates’ own bid to become Britain’s first-ever winner of the Giro d’Italia is firmly on track. And, indeed, on the same stage that the Lancashire racer overtook Mark Cavendish to become the British rider who has spent most days in pink – five – Yates even snatched a three-second time bonus at an intermediate sprint.
But Yates’ achievements on Tuesday were overshadowed almost completely by the disastrous day for Chaves – who finished in the gruppetto some 25 minutes down after being dropped on the first climb. The consequences of Chaves’ tough ride are far from insignificant for Yates, too.
“I think it becomes harder for me because when we were on the final climbs before, we had two cards to play, it was much more difficult for our rivals to chase us both,” Yates reasoned after the stage. “But now it’s only me, and we’ll have to adjust.”
The only silver lining to the Chaves-shaped GC cloud, Yates said, was that “for sure he’ll be a strong help for me in the climbs, so you can look at it two ways.
“[But] We will have to adjust our tactics, and I’m very disappointed for him.”
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