Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) fell off the pace as EF Education Nippo drove a furious pace on the Cat. 1 Passo Giau on Stage 16 at the Giro d’Italia.
The Brit was second in GC heading into the weather-shortened queen stage, 1:33 off Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) in the maglia rosa.
But EF’s Simon Carr drove up the pace as teammate Hugh Carthy sat on his wheel, with Yates unable to keep the pace.
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“He was just sitting a couple of wheels off the back. I think it’s come with a bit of a change of pace, it looks as though Carr has just changed the pace a little,” said Rob Hatch on Eurosport commentary.
We’re seeing Yates in crisis.
The stage was cut from 212km to 155km with Passo Fedaia and Passo Pordoi cut from the stage.
The climbing was reduced from 5700m to around 3800m, but the alterations did not appear to help Yates with his GC ambitions growing more distant.
“It looks like he’s starting to feel the effects here and is just losing contact,” said Sean Kelly.
“The number of bike lengths between him and that group is starting to grow.
“Carr is really pushing on here and upping the pace a bit. He’s probably getting orders from the DS, ‘can you up the pace a little bit?’ It’s causing a problem for some of those riders.”
Yates eventually crossed the line over two minutes behind stage winner Bernal and dropped to fifth overall, 4:20 off the pace.
‘I prepared for 212km’ – Carthy on shortened Stage 16
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