Simon Yates attacks on the final climb to clinch stage 2 in the Alps

Yates puts in several attacks on the steep slopes of Feichten im Kaunertal,  beraking his rivals and soloing away to take the race lead

Simon Yates attacks on the final climb to clinch stage 2 in the Alps

Britain’s Simon Yates powered to a solo victory in the Tour of the Alps in Austria on Tuesday to take the overall race lead as he builds towards next month’s Giro d’Italia. Yates, riding for Team BikeExchange, finished 41 seconds ahead of defending champion Pavel Sivakov of Ineos Grenadiers after the first mountain stage of the race between Austria and Italy.

Ireland’s Dan Martin of the Israel Start-Up Nation team finished third nearly a minute off the pace following the short but tough 121km run from Innsbruck to Feichten im Kaunertal. Martin’s teammate and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome struggled for the second day and is sitting 106th overall nearly 20 minutes off the lead.

Over 2,500 meters of altitude was concentrated in the second half of the stage, the first 50 kilometers were mostly flat. Two ascents of the Piller Sattel at 1,559m above sea level was the main difficulty of the day. 21 kilometers were left to the finish line as the riders reached the top of the Piller Sattel for the second time. The last 11km led to the finish line in Feichten, with the most challenging section coming between 6 and 3 kilometers to go, when the gradient hit above 12%.

Yates, 28, attacked on the penultimate first-category climb of Feichten im Kaunertal building on his lead to claim his first win of the season.

“I tried really hard, it was a very tough climb,” said the 2018 Vuelta a Espana winner.

“Those guys were not easy to get rid of, I tried several times and that really took it out of me for the valley road to the finish.

“I enjoy these (shorter) stages, we race from the start rather than messing around for 150km and then racing only for the final,” explained last year’s Tirreno-Adriatico winner.

Yates started last year’s Giro d’Italia but was forced to pull out before the eighth stage after testing positive for Covid-19.

“So far so good, but there’s still a lot of very hard stages to come so we will see what we can do in the next few days,” added the Britain.

Australia’s Jai Hindley, runner-up in last year’s Giro d’Italia, crossed in sixth, with Colombian Nairo Quintana, a former Giro winner, in 13th. France’s Thibaut Pinot, the 2018 Alps winner, finished over 12 minutes off the pace, and is in 85th position overall.

Yates rode on to win the stage by 41 seconds, taking a 45 second lead in the general classification over Sivakov going into stage three which is likely to suit the punchy sprinters on a hilly route from Imst to Naturno over 162km.

VIDEO: 2021 Tour of the Alps Stage 2 Highlights

2021 Tour of the Alps Stage 2

1 Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange 3:17:42
2 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:41
3 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation 0:00:58
4 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
5 Jefferson Alexander Cepeda
6 Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM 0:01:17
7 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
8 Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:01:42
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM
10 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo

2021 Tour of the Alps GC after Stage 2

1 Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange 6:46:56
2 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:45
3 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation 0:01:0
4 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:08
5 Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocatoli-Sidermec
6 Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM 0:01:2
7 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
8 Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:01:52
9 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
10 Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious

 
Tag: tourofthealps
 
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