Mitchelton-Scott’s Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates have conquered Mt Etna to finish first and second on stage six of the Giro d’Italia and move Yates into the race lead.
The duo crossed the line of the race’s first summit finish together, with Yates honouring Chaves the victory, 26seconds ahead of their nearest rival.
“In the end, it was a really a perfect day,” Yates said. “It wasn’t really the plan for Esteban to go in the breakaway but it was very crazy in the start, a lot of guys went up the road, and he just happened to be there.
“I had good legs, and I felt really good. I didn’t have to do anything because Esteban was up the road. I could sit in the wheels and save some energy. I just saw a bit of a moment where we’d been riding quite hard for a little bit, and I had a very small gap. I thought OK, this is my moment.”
“From the beginning in Israel, I wanted to take the jersey. I just want to do the best I can. It’s a special moment to pull on the jersey and be here now. I don’t know what else to say.”
“From the beginning, I said I believe we have the strongest team here – not just climbers but for the flat too. I think we can do a really good job of defending the jersey”.
“I have a little bit of experience of holding a leader’s jersey already, and hopefully that can help me in the next few stages. I’ll try not to lose it like I lost it at Paris-Nice.”
“We came as a team to try to win,” Yates said. “It looks good, I think.”