Chris Froome says ‘no regrets’ about losing time after going deep on the Zoncolan

Froome says he’s happy he went on to win on the Monte Zoncolan despite haemorrhaging more time to his rivals the following day

A Giro d’Italia summit stage win one day, a 1-32-minute loss the next – Chris Froome (Sky) has “no regrets” with his hard push to win on the Monte Zoncolan.

Froome heads into the final week in seventh overall, 4-52 down on leader and fellow Brit Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). He fell behind with 18 kilometres remaining on stage 15 and lost more time in Sappada, 24 hours after raising his arms in celebration.

>>> How much time will Tom Dumoulin take on Simon Yates in the Giro d’Italia time trial?

“It was such an amazing experience, and one that I do not regret for one second,” said Froome, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Sunday.

“I do not regret putting everything on the line that day. Just the atmosphere on the climb, and the thousands of people who were up there. Also, for me, just taking a step back eight years when I last rode up the Zoncolan. I was almost relying on the public giving a push almost every 20 meters just to get up there. To come back here now eight years later and to win that stage, for me was so special.”

The win put a spark into Froome’s Giro campaign. It began with two crashes, both on his right side, and time loss on the important mountain days. Monte Zoncolan, stage 14, allowed for a moment of celebration for the four-time Tour de France champion.

“It hasn’t been an easy race for me. I’ve been giving it my all. It wasn’t an easy start, and I am obviously quite far back now in the GC,” said Froome.

The race still must cover a time trial on Tuesday and four mountain stages. Froome’s gap to Yates may be too big, however, to recover.

Chris Froome attacks on Monte Zoncolan (Sunada)

“It’s big, especially with the way Simon is riding. He hasn’t shown a moment of weakness so far, and he is only getting stronger,” added Froome.

“I genuinely thought yesterday that he might be paying a little bit for the effort on the Zoncolan, but he only seemed stronger yesterday. I can only say congrats to Simon and he’s ridden an incredible race so far. It’s going to take really a lot to get that jersey off his shoulders.

“If I gain anything on Tom Dumoulin [in the stage 16 time trial], I will be extremely happy,” Froome added.

“He is the world champion time triallist, so I do not expect to gain anything on him. I am going to give it everything I’ve got, and take it from there. I am not going to expect anything from the rest of this Giro.”

Yates’ pink jersey ride is heading towards Rome, where he could become the race’s first British winner. Froome was the favourite to win the 101st edition before it began in Jerusalem, but crashes led to a different outcome.

A different Yates, Simon’s twin brother Adam, will face Froome in the Tour de France this July.

“They’ve become more prominent as they’ve gotten older and they have more experience,” Froome said of the English twins.

“Simon’s ridden an incredible race so far, and I can only say chapeau to him. He hasn’t showed one moment of weakness throughout this race so far. I am not in the pink jersey, but it’s pretty cool to see another Brit in the pink jersey in this Giro.”

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How much time will Tom Dumoulin take on Simon Yates in the Giro d’Italia time trial?

Yates heads into the crucial Giro d’Italia stage 16 time trial with a 2-11 advantage over defending champion Dumoulin

Giro d’Italia race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) is bound to lose to Tom Dumoulin in the upcoming stage 16 time trial, but how much?

The 32.4-kilometre time trial, mostly flat and straight, runs in the Valle dei Laghi from Trento to Rovereto. It could allow Team Sunweb’s Dumoulin, who sits second at 2-11 minutes, to overtake Yates and play for the overall win in Rome next Sunday.

>>> ‘Two minutes is still not enough’: Simon Yates still thinks he’ll lose pink to Dumoulin in time trial

“If they come out of the mountains well, the gains could be 1-30 or 1-40 minutes,” Astana team manager Giuseppe Martinelli told Cycling Weekly.

“Yates really has condition, he could lose time, more than he thinks in the last week. I think Dumoulin will have 1-30, it wouldn’t be enough for him to win the race overall, but he’s improving. I think he’ll be in the pink after the time trial, but he’ll have to really work to keep that jersey in the last week.

World time trail champion Tom Dumoulin has lost time, but has ridden consistently daily to keep Yates worried. The Dutchman won the opening time trial in Jerusalem and wore the pink jersey for one day.

“Dumoulin could take 1-20 or 1-30, it’s going to be really tight for the standings after the time trial,” sports director at Trek-Segafredo, Steven De Jongh said.

“The speed will be pretty high, it’ll be challenging, especially the day after the rest day. We always see one rider having a bad day after the rest day, the other day it was Esteban Chaves. Who will it be in the time trial?

“It’s going to be hard to come back and take time on Yates, but Zoncolan was one of the hardest stages and Dumoulin didn’t lose too much.”

Simon Yates attacks on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia (Sunada)

Dumoulin drifted near the back on Monte Zoncolan, but limited his loses when Froome attacked at 4.1 kilometres remaining. He finished only 31 seconds behind Yates. No one could stop Yates en route to Sappada, but again Dumoulin managed himself well.

“I would say 40 seconds every 10 kilometres, so I think Dumoulin still has a good chance,” explained Tristan Hoffman, Bahrain-Merida sports director. “Maybe it’s 20 seconds only because Yates is in good shape, it depends on the wind. If it’s headwind, it’s all about the power, so maybe Dumoulin could take more.”

“More than two minutes on Yates, even if Yates is in good condition and can defend himself,” Stefano Zanatta, sports director at Team Bardiani-CSF said. “I don’t know if that will be enough for Dumoulin to win the race overall.”

“Let’s say 1-30 or 1-45 on Yates in the time trial,” added Marc Sergeant, Lotto-Soudal general manager. “We’ve never seen Yates this strong, maybe he’ll only lose one minute.”

“It’s clear to see that Yates is going like 10 men,” said Trek-Segafredo time trial specialist, Ryan Mullen. “I’d like to see Yates spank them.

“I am sure being in the maglia rosa will give him extra horse power. The way he’s been riding I don’t think he’ll lose much, but after a rest day, it’s a question mark. I really suffer, but he’s no longer a rookie.”

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Do you need a clutch rear derailleur?

Simon Smythe wonders whether road riders need to avoid chain slap in the same way mountain bikers do

Shimano’s road developers have traditionally borrowed from the company’s mountain bike tech: as far back as 1989, the Japanese company took the internals of its Rapidfire shifting system and created the first STI — arguably the biggest game changer in road cycling of the last 50 years.

Now Shimano has just launched the Ultegra RX clutch derailleur, a roadgoing version of its Shadow Plus system, testing it earlier this year at the cobbled Classics with the Trek-Segafredo team, whose RX-equipped bikes appear in Shimano’s PR photographs.

>>> Are single-ring chainsets the future?

The point of the clutch mechanism is to tension the chain to keep it in place when riding over rough and uneven ground, eliminating or at least decreasing ‘chain slap’ — when the chain lashes the chainstay, potentially causing damage — and the risk of the chain unshipping completely.

The RX derailleur has an on/off switch next to its upper pulley to activate the clutch or release it so that it works like a regular mech. The switch can’t safely be operated in-ride.

Slightly primitive-looking chain catchers were cobbled Classics riders’ only insurance against dropping the chain in the past, but now, with clutch derailleurs these shouldn’t be necessary at all.

Originally, clutch mechanisms were brought into mountain bike rear derailleurs to help keep chains under control when single chainring ‘1x’ systems gained popularity. SRAM, which now has 1x versions of all its road groupsets except Red, deploys the Type 2 clutch derailleur (which doesn’t have an on/off switch) to work in conjunction with the single chainring and lack of front mech.

Although Shimano doesn’t have a 1x road groupset — yet — the new RX opens up the possibility of a future foray as well as demonstrating the company’s commitment to the expansion of the gravel and adventure style of riding.

So clearly for the 1x application as well as off-roading, a clutch rear mech is a useful thing to have, but does it have a place in everyday road riding on a bike with a double chainring set-up?

Despite the worsening state of UK roads, chain slap is a relatively rare occurrence. Certainly the
big hits that would cause it are also likely to cause a pinch flat unless you’re running large-volume tyres.

Time triallists have long used single-chainring set-ups, attempting to streamline bikes by removing the front derailleur and other associated parts but this has led to some high-profile chain derailments, notably David Millar’s in the 2003 Tour de France prologue.

A clutch rear derailleur ought to be the solution, but along with the extra tension of the chain comes extra drivetrain friction and the loss of a small but measurable amount of efficiency.

In last year’s Tour de France Tony Martin used a SRAM-equipped 1x TT bike but rather than fitting a SRAM Force 1 clutch derailleur he used a prototype X-Sync chainring with wide-narrow teeth and a regular road derailleur.

Expert view

“Riders have been pushing the limits of what a road bike is capable of for many years, evolving the sport from racing to encompass greater adventure. In recent years we’ve seen a broader definition of what a drop handlebar bike can look like; road wheels followed that by accommodating wider tyres. Now in a natural evolutionary step it’s time for drivetrains to evolve too.

“In the ‘on’ position the chain-stabilising switch [on the Ultegra RX derailleur] gives more control over excessive chain movement and chain noise over rough surfaces or in more demanding riding applications.

Seeing or hearing your chain jumping around can be a distraction when you need to be concentrating on the road ahead, whether that’s in a road race or just an adventurous ride off the beaten track.

“With road bikes now evolving to accommodate wider tyres, more road bike riders have the possibility to ride surfaces previously better suited to a cyclo-cross or adventure/gravel bike, so Ultegra RX provides riders with an additional option next to the wide range of riding styles our other road derailleurs also perform flawlessly in.”

Our view

It seems as though the clutch rear derailleur is not the game changer that the STI was, but with riders increasingly heading off-road away from the traffic and using 1x gravel-style bikes to do it, we can definitely expect to see more of it.

For everyday road riding with a double-chainring set-up you can get by without one, but the beauty of the Shimano RX derailleur with its switch is that you have the choice.

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Britain’s Stevie Williams holds off late pressure to seal Ronde de l’Isard victory

The 21-year-old won the first two stages off the race but saw his overall come under pressure on the final stage in the Pyrenees

Britain’s Stevie Williams (SEG Racing Academy) fought off pressure on the final stage of the 2018 Ronde de l’Isard to take the overall victory.

The 21-year-old had won the first two stages of the four-day race in the Pyrenees, winning on the first day’s summit finish to Eycheil before taking the victory the next day on the mountain top finish at Goulier Neige.

After a flatter stage to Boulogne-sur-Gesse on stage three, Williams led the race overall ahead of Belgium’s Julian Mertens (Lotto-Soudal U23) at 23 seconds and Aurélien Paret-Peintre (Chambery Cyclisme Formation) by 28 seconds with one stage remaining.

On the final stage, a 152.4km route from Salies-du-Salat to Saint-Girons with three mountain passes, Williams saw future Ag2r La Mondiale professional Paret-Peintre pose the biggest threat to his overall lead.

The stage itself was taken by Switzerland’s Gino Mäder (IAM Excelsior Cycling Team), no threat to the overall, who went solo in the descent of the Col d’Agnes at around 50km remaining.

Riders on the final descent of stage four of the 2018 Ronde de l’Isard (Elen Rius/Ronde de l’Isard)

Behind though, Paret-Peintre attacked with his team-mate Clément Champoussin on the descent of the Mur de Péguère with around 20km to go.

Williams, chasing in the yellow jersey, was blighted by two punctures as the French duo rode out in front, while second overall Mertens suffered a crash on the technical descent.

While Paret-Peintre was able to drag a gap out to 25 seconds on the descent, the flatter run to the finish saw the gap come right back. It was just two seconds as both groups crossed the finish line over three minutes down on the stage winner, meaning Williams secured the overall by a gap of 20 seconds.

“I am over the moon” Williams said. “It’s unbelievable to win such a big race after an epic final stage. It’s not an easy win and it will gave me some self-confidence in my career.”

Williams, from Wales, will move up from the under-23 ranks next year with the win in the Ronde de l’Isard by far his best result of his young career.

Having ridden for JLT-Condor for a year in 2016, Williams’ best results before this week were a second place in the Flèche Ardennaise in 2017 and third in the New Zeland Cycle Classic in 2016. He also placed ninth in the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège earlier this year.

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Tech of the week: a race-winning disc brake Condor, Rapha saddles and an 11.9kg Wilier e-bike

Also ride Mont Ventoux on your turbo and new Mavic limited edition clothing

New bikes and saddles

Condor has a new disc brake version of its Leggero, which we’ve profiled. It was the bike ridden to victory at the Tour Series crit round in Motherwell by Matt Gibson of the JLT Condor team. Condor says it’s still being tested by the team before its general launch.

Condor Leggero disc

Condor Leggero now comes with discs. Photo Andy Jones

Meanwhile, if you’d like a bit of a push, Wilier has launched its new Cento1Hy e-bike. It uses a rear hub motor and a battery in the down tube, for a carbon bike that doesn’t look a lot different from its racing machines and has a claimed weight of under 12kg.

Ride faster in the limited edition Mavic Allure kit

Rapha has moved into saddles. It says that it wanted to ensure that the seat used matched the seatpad in its bibshorts and has two saddles , each in two different widths and designed to work with different Rapha bibshort models. And Mavic has launched its limited edition Allure kit, designed to cut a dash on summer rides.

Real-world virtual cycling

We’ve reported on the new, free Road Grand Tours app which links up to your turbo to simulate real routes. It currently includes a virtual Stelvio as well as Cap Formentor and Mont Ventoux. There’s also some strada bianca as well as flat circuits of Canary Wharf and Berlin for when your climbing legs need a rest.

A virtual Mont Ventoux on your turbo with the Road Grand Tours app

And Cycling Weekly is looking for nominations for its 2018 awards for club of the year, charitable initiative of the year and local hero, so let us know if you’ve got a candidate.

If you’re looking for challenges abroad, we’ve profiled riding in the Dolomites and the Pyrenees this week, telling you where to go, what to ride and where to stay.

More hilly terrain profiled

Deal-wise, we’ve had Castelli on sale, including £110 off the RRP of the Castelli Perfetto Convertible jacket, as well as our Sunday Trading round-up from the on-line retailers.

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Giro d'Italia: Aru rides to a standstill while Pozzovivo carries Italian hopes

As was the case for Roberto Visentini in 1987, the pink jersey had already been handed over by the time Fabio Aru rolled across the finish line in Sappada on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia, more than 19 minutes behind stage winner Simon Yates.

Unlike Visentini, Aru’s setback was hardly a surprise. His Giro hopes had been steadily deflating since he was dropped on Gran Sasso d’Italia a week ago, and the balloon burst altogether when he was unable to follow the pink jersey group on the Zoncolan on Saturday.

When Aru’s pedalling slowed almost to the point of inertia on the slopes of the Passo Sant’Antonio on Sunday, with 34km still to race, the only question that remained was whether he would complete the race. A television motorbike hovered behind him on the rainy mountainside, where he could scarcely even stay on the wheel of his teammate Diego Ulissi, who had dropped back to help him. It wasn’t supposed to come to this.

Someway, somehow, Aru managed to persist and grind his way to the top of the climb, already minutes down from Yates and the leading group. The gap extended still further on the ascent to Costalissoio, where a glum-faced Aru waved away another motorbike that was filming him from in front.

When Visentini wheeled to a halt in Sappada 31 years ago, his first thought was to ride directly into the mass of reporters to give voice to the doomed rage written across his face at seeing his teammate Stephen Roche in his pink jersey. Aru, by contrast, ghosted through the finishing area without stopping for the waiting television crews, and climbed aboard his team bus without uttering a word.

The finish line in Sappada was in the shadow of the chocolate box façade of Hotel Corona Ferrea, where Carrera were housed in 1987, and where attempts were made to enact a silenzio stampa of sorts on the loquacious Roche by ushering him upstairs to his room and away from prying reporters.

It seemed a similar policy was in place at UAE Team Emirates. Like Aru, directeur sportif Mario Scirea preferred not to speak of the day’s events, explaining that his fellow directeur Matxin Joxean Fernandez was the team’s spokesman on this trying afternoon. Aru placed 69th on the stage, 19:31 down, is now 22nd overall, 25:14 behind Yates.

“It’s a very difficult moment but in the end, we’ll need to talk with the ragazzo. We’ve helped him and covered him, and we believe in Fabio, especially in difficult moments,” said Matxin.

“We don’t know what’s happened yet. We need to talk with the rider above all, help him and above all listen to him. In difficult moments, we must support him from a sporting and personal point of view, and above all listen to him. Without listening to him we can’t make an evaluation.”

An hour or so later, a statement from Aru was released by UAE Team Emirates. The Italian champion himself seemed at a loss to explain his showing in this Giro, his first since 2015, and his first major objective since leaving Astana during the off-season.

Aru already seemed off the pace of the best when he placed sixth overall the Tour of the Alps last month, and he had shown few signs of real improvement through the opening part of the Giro. It remains to be seen if he will still be in the race when it resumes in Trento after Monday’s rest day.

“Today was truly a hard one both mentally and physically. I want to thank my teammates for being at my side,” Aru said. “I just find myself without strength, unable to hold the pace, empty. I am not good, clearly, and now we have to understand why. We are going to take a little bit of time to make our evaluation and the rest day tomorrow will help.

“I hope that you can understand this sporting drama because my big disappointment is made worse by my desire, and inability, to do well. I wanted this so much, more than anything.”


While Aru’s collapse will doubtless again dominate column inches in Italy on Monday morning, the fine Giro of his compatriot Domenico Pozzovivo has gone almost unheralded. The Bahrain-Merida rider placed fourth in Sappada to remain in third place overall as the Giro breaks for its third and final rest day.

At the start in Tolmezzo, Pozzovivo had smiled when it was put to him that Aru’s struggles had meant that his exploits had flown under the radar to this point. “Yes, I noticed yesterday that my good performance made less of an impression than Aru’s setback, but I don’t put too much weight on that,” Pozzovivo said. “It’s always been my trademark to let the road speak for me.”

On Sunday evening, Pozzovivo’s teammate Vincenzo Nibali, who is continuing his preparations for the Tour de France, weighed in on the matter. “Watching the stage of the Giro today I think that not enough is being said about our own Domenico Pozzovivo. Keep going like this Mimmuzzo,” Nibali wrote on Twitter.

Pozzovivo was unable to follow Yates’ vicious attack on Costalissoio, but he finished alongside Tom Dumoulin, Thibaut Pinot, Richard Carapaz and Miguel Angel Lopez, 41 seconds behind the Briton, but almost a minute ahead of Chris Froome. In the overall standings, the Basilicata native is 2:28 behind Yates and just 17 seconds behind Dumoulin.

Although Pozzovivo is expected to concede ground in Tuesday’s time trial, he will remain in the hunt for a podium berth through the final week of the race. With Aru now definitively out of the reckoning, Pozzovivo may even find himself the subject of the headlines.

CRESCENDO from Cyclingnews Films on Vimeo. Pre-order now ahead of June 1 release.
Debut production THE HOLY WEEK still available to buy or rent.

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Van Vleuten takes rainbow win at Emakumeen Bira time trial

World champion’s victory hands her the overall lead

Annemiek van Vleuten bagged her second win from two outings in the rainbow skinsuit, winning stage two of Emakumeen Bira in the Basque Country on Sunday. The 35-year-old was nine seconds behind Dutch compatriot Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) at the intermediate split after 13 of the 26.6km course, but recovered to beat the Olympic champion by 14 seconds.

Former word time trial champion Lisa Brennauer (Wiggle-High5) finished third, 44 seconds behind.

Time trials are few and far between in women’s cycling and this was only the second time the Dutch woman had raced since winning the title last September. With that victory she now has a 100% strike rate in the discipline.

How it happened

Though there were two short steep climbs on the 26.6km test, the rest of the course was flat and one for the pure testers. Fifth down the start ramp in the small Basque town of Agurain was former German time trial champion Mieke Kröger (Virtu), who set the early target of 35.32.

However, having started early in the day after an inopportune puncture ruined her GC chances on Stage one, former British champion Hayley Simmonds (WNT-Rotor) set a new bench mark, four seconds faster.

The Cambridge graduate occupied the leader’s hot seat in the finish town of Gastiez for some time, before the race heated up as the overall favourites arrived home. A flurry of riders deposed her from her seat before Mitchelton-Scott’s New Zealand champion Georgia Williams knocked 18 seconds off the Brit’s time.

That was not the last we saw of the British riders though, with Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) stopping the clock two seconds faster than her compatriot, ultimately finishing  11th, with Simmonds one place behind her.

Having started the day sixth on GC van Vleuten was able to savour her winning time as the final five riders crossed the line unable to best her.

With Brennauer unable to match the other top four riders in the hills they will tackle in the final two stages it is now down to van der Breggen and Moolman-Pasio to attack van Vleuten. Both are arguably better climbers, though they will need to be aware of the bonus seconds available over the next two days is they are to win the overall.

Tomorrow will see the peloton tackle two second and one third category climbs during the 114.5km course starting and finishing in Aretxabaleta.
Emakumeen Bira Stage two – Individual time trial 26.6km – result
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott in 34-00
2. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 14s
3. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Wiggle-High5 at 44s
4. Ashleigh Mailman-Pasio (RSA) Cervélo-Bigla at 53 s
5. Georgia Williams (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott at 1-10
6. Olga Zabalenskaya (Rus) Cogeas-Mettler at 1-12
7. Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels-Dolmans at 1-15
8. Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Cervélo-Bigla at 1-19
9. Gracie Elvin (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 1-20
10. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervélo-Bigla

Emakumeen Bira General classification after Stage two
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott in 3-25-38
2. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 14s
3. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Wiggle-High5 at 41s
4. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervélo-Bigla at 52
5. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervélo-Bigla at 1-29
6. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM at 1-31
7. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 1-36
8. Martina Ritter (Aut) Wiggle-High5 at 1-38
9. Elisa Longo-Borghini (Ita) at 1-39
10. Georgia Williams (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott at 2-00

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‘Two minutes is still not enough’: Simon Yates still thinks he’ll lose pink to Dumoulin in time trial

Yates still thinks he’ll lose pink in Tuesday’s time trial

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) wants more time on his rivals even after 10 days in the pink jersey in which he has picked up three stages wins at the Giro d’Italia.

In Italy’s northeast Dolomites, Yates stormed away from his rivals to win stage 15. At nearly 18 kilometres out, he said “ciao” to an already distanced Chris Froome (Team Sky) and second overall Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).

“I don’t know if it’s enough,” Yates said of his 2-11 advantage over Dumoulin with the time trial ahead on Tuesday.

“I wish I did know because I’d be a bit calmer. I’ve been trying to take time since the race started, and I’ve been very successful on many days, but my advantage can be wiped out in one day, in one TT.”

The one time that could make or break Yates’ Giro is the 32.4-kilometre flat stage from Trento to Rovereto after the rest day.

>>> Simon Yates attacks to take solo victory and strengthen grip on pink jersey at Giro d’Italia

“I’m relaxed mostly, but to say I’m close to winning is difficult. Two minutes is not a lot, it sounds like a lot, but it’s not to a guy like Tom Dumoulin,” Yates continued

A rider like world champion Tom Dumoulin could eat well into Yates’s lead and turn the Giro around for a chance at a second consecutive Giro d’Italia title.

Yates took the pink jersey on the first summit finish to Mount Etna when team-mate Esteban Chaves won the stage. Yates then won in Gran Sasso, Osimo and Sappada. He said he is excited with the pink jersey run and Rome finish line on the horizon next Sunday.

“But I’m also nervous with the TT,” Yates continued. “I’m also relaxed because… Look, regardless of what happens now I’ve had a very successful Giro. Of course I came here to win the race, I’ll try my best, but I don’t know until after the TT.”

Yates is only the third rider after Eddy Merckx and Gilberto Simoni to win three stages in the pink jersey.

After losing time in the Jerusalem time trial on day one, Yates gained time on Dumoulin at every opportunity to build his pink jersey lead. Dumoulin, the 2017 winner, seemed ready to mount a comeback on the roads to Sappada when he sent his Sunweb men to the front to lead the race.

Once Froome faded, however, Yates took advantage. He won the stage with 41 seconds on Dumoulin and and also took bonus seconds

“It was hard day, especially after yesterday. Tom looked good. I don’t know what happened in the final, maybe he was working too much to chase me,” Yates continued.

“I don’t’ know what happened. He had his team on the front to ride the climb beforehand, he looked good. I don’t know, maybe he just had a bad day.”

He celebrated with three fist pumps against his chest, against the pink Castelli leader’s jersey.

“This celebration goes back a long way. I’ve done it for many years now. One is to back myself. At one point early in my career, I was hesitant, I was always unsure if my legs were good or not. I do this just to remind myself, I got this,” he explained.

“I have great legs, great feelings. The team has supported me superbly. There is no reason to be anything but confident.”

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Simon Yates attacks to take solo victory and strengthen grip on pink jersey at Giro d’Italia

Mitchelton-Scott rider now leads by more than two minutes

Simon Yates (Michelton-Scott) took his third stage victory of the 2018 Giro d’Italia as he attacked with 18km to go to win solo on stage 15 into Sappada.

Yates went into the stage with a lead of 1-24 over Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and came out of it with a lead of 2-11 as he attacked on the final categorised climb of the day.

Resplendent in his pink jersey on a miserable day in the Dolomites, Yates needed just two attacks to go solo over a chase group that failed to cooperate in the chase.

In the end Yates won by 41 seconds ahead of Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) with Dumoulin in third, meaning that Yates now holds a more comfortable lead heading into Tuesday’s crucial time trial.

Meanwhile Chris Froome (Team Sky) failed to allow up on his win on Monte Zoncolan on Saturday, finishing 1-32 behind Yates, as result that sees him drop to seventh place in the overall standings

How it happened

After Monte Zoncolan on Saturday, there was no let up in the climbing on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia, which packed in four climbs before an uphill finish into Sappada.

As predicted there was a fast start to the stage with relentless attacking as various groups attempted to get away but with none allowed to get any sort of a gap on the peloton.

After around 30km two groups of three riders were able to get away before joining up to form a group of six,  but they were brought back on the lower slopes of the opening climb of the Passo della Mauria.

The next group that was able to get clear consisted of Nico Denz and Quentin Jaurégui (Ag2r La Mondiale), Dayer Quintana (Movistar), and Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy), who moved clear on the valley roads between the first and second climbs.

They were joined a large number of riders before the peloton sat up. Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing), Davide Ballerini and Fausto Masnada (Androni-Sidermec), Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac), Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step), Manuele Mori and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Mickaël Chérel (Ag2r La Mondiale), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Niccolo Bonifazio, Giovanni Visconti, and Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Giulio Ciccone and Enrico Barbin (Bardiani CSF), Mathieu Ladagnous (Groupama-FDJ), Kristian Sbaragli (Israel Cycling Academy), Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto FixAll), Sam Bewley (Mitchelton-Scott), Maurits Lammertink (Katusha-Alpecin), and Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) were the riders to make the junction to form a 24-strong front group.

That group quickly opened a gap of around three minutes as the peloton took its lunch, before EF Education First-Drapac, who had only sprinter Modolo in the break, started to work on the front of the bunch.

The American team was able to trim a minute off the break’s lead before the start of the third-category Passo Tre Croci with 74km to go, and the reason for the high pace became clear when Michael Woods attacked midway up the climb.

Wood was immediately able to open the gap as Mitchelton-Scott opted not to chase, while the acceleration caused chaos at the back of the bunch as plenty of riders were dropped and Fabio Are (UAE Team Emirates) was put into trouble.

Back at the front Ciccone pushed on along with Neilands and the Ag2r La Mondiale duo of Denz and Chérel before they were joined by Quintana three kilometres before the top of the climb before Neilands was dropped ahead of the descent.

By the top Woods was just 55 seconds behind the leaders, with the peloton, led by Mitchelton-Scott and Team Sky a further 1-05 back.

As the rain fell on the descent it was Denz and Chérel who pushed on to drop Ciccone and Quintana, before waiting for the Colombian to make a three-man group at the front of the race with a 2-40 lead over the peloton, although they were soon joined by Ciccone and Visconti.

Meanwhile Woods had struggled to open a gap, and was only 40 seconds ahead of the peloton as the road flattened out, and the American rider decided to cut his losses and sit up to wait for the bunch.

The first of the duo of finishings climbs started with 38km to go with the break 1-46 up the road, where Ciccone once again moved to the front to drive the break, dropping Quintana, then Visconti, and finally Chérel.

Meanwhile Team Sunweb took up the pace-setting on the front of the bunch and immediately put Aru back in trouble with the Italian national champion swiftly dropped.

By the time the pink jersey group reached the top of the climb there were only around 20 riders in contention, with the gap to the break being just half a minute.

Once again Denz chose to push on on the descent to drop Ciccone and open his lead back out to 40 seconds as he started the Costalissoio climb with 19km remaining, but was soon swept up as the action kicked off behind.

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) led the peloton down the descent and immediately attacked the climb to cause a split which only Simon Yates and Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida), Richard Carapaz (Movistar) and George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) followed immediately.

Having won on the Zoncolan on Saturday Chris Froome (Team Sky) was one of those distanced as Sergio Henao worked to try and bring his team leader back.

With Froome dropped Yates saw an opportunity to gain time and launched an attack of his own which only Lopez was able to follow, Dumoulin biding his time and getting into his rhythm just as he did on the Zoncolan.

Surely enough Dumoulin rejoined Yates along with Carapaz, Pinot, and Pozzovivo, but Yates had more to give and he attacked again, this time able to escape solo and open more of a gap.

Pozzovivo and Pinot took responsibility for the chase as Yates pushed on ahead, climbing out of the saddle with his hands in the drops in a manner that would have pleased any roadside fans of Marco Pantani.

By the top of the climb with 15km to go Yates had a lead of 18 seconds over the chasers, with Froome, now with Wout Poels by his side, suffering another 45 seconds back.

Yates opened another 10 seconds on the descent, and with 10km to go had a lead approaching half a minute. Behind Tom Dumoulin was starting to get frustrated as he gesticulated at the other riders to work before Pinot went on the attack but was unable to get away.

That poor cooperation allowed Yates to further open his lead to 51 seconds with five kilometres remaining, before Dumoulin decided to take matters into his own hands as he took sole responsibility for the chase.

However the Dutchman paid for his effort as Carapaz attacked and Dumoulin was unable to follow the response by Pinot, Lopez, and Pozzovivo.

That move trimmed a few seconds from Yates’ lead, but the squabbling soon recommenced behind while the pink jersey started to ride away once more.

In the end Yates had plenty of time to enjoy his third stage win of the race, crossing the line with no other rider in site, before Lopez won the sprint for second ahead of Dumoulin at 41 seconds.


Giro d’Italia 2018, stage 15: Tolmezzo to Sappada, 176km

1. Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott, in 4-37-56
2. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana, at 41 secs
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, all at same time
7. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, at 1-20
8. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana
10. Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb, all at same time

General classification after stage 15

1. Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott, in 65-57-37
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb, at 2-11
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, at 2-28
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ,at 2-37
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana, at 4-27
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team, at same time
7. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, at 4-52
8. George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 5-34
9. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana, at 5-59
10. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 6-13

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Sunday trading: £800 off Shimano Dura-Ace, discounts on power meters and much more

Give your bike some love or revamp your wardrobe with these great online deals

Welcome back to Sunday Trading and this week we’ve found some characteristically killer deals for your perusal. There’s two different sets of Fulcrum bike wheels because they seem to be in the sales everywhere at the moment. One’s aluminium, one’s carbon, both are good – we’ve reviewed them. Then there’s a stonking 47% off Shimano Dura-Ace that brings the mechanical version a sniff below £1000. Then we round out with two different power meter deals! Oh lucky days.

The products featured have been chosen because we know they’re good quality and are an excellent offer at the price we’ve included (at the time of writing). Our tech team have unrivalled expertise and years of experience testing new products, so you can trust our recommendations – and we also know what represents a good deal. Where we’ve reviewed the product we’ve included a link to it so you can read more.

With each product is a ‘Buy Now’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.

Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite wheelset was £1099, now £829.99

Read more: Fulcrum Racing Zero wheelset review

Read more: Road bike wheels buyer’s guide

The Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels are the tip of the top in Fulcrum’s aluminium wheel tree. Yes, they’re made of metal but that doesn’t stop them being a killer pair of upgrade wheels. Admittedly, you can buy cheap carbon wheels for a similar price but with carbon you have worries about the braking and ruining the brake track.

In fact, with the Racing Zeros we found that the hubs were impressively smooth with their ceramic bearings and that these are really good all rounders with a bombproof build. They’re fast to accelerate and they sit at speed very nicely. The Fulcrum racing Nites on sale here are a little different to the ones we had in that they have a stealth black design but overall, they’re a quality wheelset.

Buy now: Racing Zero Nite wheelset at Tweeks Cycles for £829

Fulcrum Racing Quattro C17 wheelsets was £1,199, now £824.99

fulcrum racing quattro carbon wheels

Read more: Fulcrum Racing Quattro carbon wheelset review

These Fulcrum wheels are carbon and 40mm deep, with that extra depth giving them a nice aerodynamic advantage over shallower wheels. They’re a touch difficult to accelerate but once they’re up to speed they hold it very well and it’s all in the stiff carbon rims which transfer your energy into movement very well. They’re designed to work with wider tyres that also help take some of the sting out of the ride. These are disc brake specific (rim brake deal below.)

Buy now: Fulcrum Racing Quattro C17 disc brake wheelset at ProBikeKit for £824.99

If disc brakes aren’t your thing then you can get the rim brake version for a tidy £230 discount at Tweeks Cycles – they now cost £869 down from £1099. Check out the deal here.

Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 was £1874.99, now £999.99

Shimano Dura-Ace R9100

Read more: Shimano Dura-Ace review

This enormous deal on Shimano Dura-Ace is very exciting – especially if you’re looking for the best of the best for your bike. We reviewed Shimano Dura-Ace and gave it 10/10 and couldn’t really fault it. It has the new Shimano look that looks great, incredibly powerful rim brakes with the best modulation and feel on the market and some of the crispest shifting going.

Buy now: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 at Chain Reaction Cycles for £999.99 

Quarq DZero carbon power meter crankset was £769, now £524.99

Read more: Quarq DZero carbon power meter crankset was £796, now £524.99

We’ve reviewed the Quarq power meter used here and we coudn’t help but give it a straight 10/10. It’s reliable, accurate and easy to live with thanks to its use of Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ signals for communication. Currently, ProBikeKit has all sizes still in stock so you can get the exact type you need.

Buy now: Quarq DZero carbon power meter was £769, now £524.99

Garmin Vector 2 Power Meter was £999, now £499

Garmin Vector 2 pedals

Read more: Garmin Vector 2 power meter review

So these are a touch out of date compared to the new Garmin Vector 3 power meter pedals but they are on a 50% discount that makes them a bargain if you want power data on a budget. The most important thing you can do with these pedals is torque them correctly otherwise you might get inaccurate readings. These are dual-sided pedals so you get readings for both legs which makes them more accurate.

Potentially not as slick as newer models on the market but they are an opportunity to get power on the cheap.

Buy now: Garmin Vector 2 power meter pedals at Chain Reaction Cycles for £499

More great deals:

Continental Grand Prix 4 season tyre was £64.96, now £34

Giro Synthe helmet MIPs was £249.99, now from £168.12

Castelli women’s Gabba jersey was £140, now from £70

Vittoria Rubino Pro Control tyre was £36.99 now from £21.29

Eurostyle hot embrocation was £14.99 now £10.00

Endura Pakajak women’s showerproof jacket was £34.99 now £15.80

Shimano 105 R5800 cassette was £49.99 now from £33.95

KMC X101-93 11-speed chain was £26.99 now £19.20

Selle San Marco Concor racing saddle was £119.99 now £69.99

Kona Zone One road bike was £2499 now £1249.99

Shimano M520 SPD pedals (black) were £30.83 now £22

Continental GP4000S II tyre was £54.95 now 29.99

Endura FS260-Pro Printed short sleeve jersey was £64.99 now from £24.70

Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SLC Haute Route wheelset was £1900 now £799.99

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