SIMON YATES extended his overall lead in the Giro d’Italia to more than half a minute with victory on stage nine at Gran Sasso d’Italia.
Yates pounced in the final 100 metres of a climb that finished above the snow line to beat Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and his Michelton-Scott team-mate Esteban Chaves, putting him 32 seconds clear of Chaves in the standings going into Monday’s rest day.
But it was another bad day for Chris Froome, who failed to hang onto a five-strong breakaway group two kilometres from the finish, sliding out of the overall top 10 as a result and losing more than a minute on Yates.
Yates has held the race leader’s pink jersey since stage six, when he finished second behind Chaves on the slopes of Mount Etna.
Here he timed his run to perfection, forming a four-strong chase when Italian Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) attempted to break clear towards the end of the 225km stage from Pesco Sannita.
Pinot, Chaves and stage eight winner Richard Carapaz (Movistar) went with him, with Yates going around Pinot in the final moments to claim a victory he greeted with evident emotion.
As a result of his efforts Chaves moved up to second place in the overall standings, demoting Holland’s defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) into third, 38 seconds behind.
Young Barnsley cycling talent Jenson Young powered to victory at the end of the tough University of Sheffield Road Race staged near Holmfirth yesterday.
The 19-year-old won the 50-mile race in a sprint finish, having covered the course in just over two hours. He showed a clean pair of heels to his rivals, with Shibden CC rival Joe Coukham from Greetland taking second spot and Sheffield-based Curtis Maltby (Geared Up-C and N Cycles) settling for third.
Organisers described the event as one of the toughest 50-mile races on the season’s calendar, with riders being dropped off the back of the bunch virtually from the start. The duo of Oliver Cockerill (Prologue RT) and Alexander Hutchinson (VC Beverley) led an early breakaway and amassed a lead of more than a minute at its peak, but neither went on to finish in the top 10.
Cockerill and Hutchinson were eventually caught up in the dying laps by a small pack who went on to finish together.