Yates stretches Giro lead as Mohoric earns first stage win
Simon Yates extended his general classification lead at the Giro d'Italia, despite seeing Matej Mohoric win a hard-fought 10th stage on Tuesday.
Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates was not required to repeat his victory in the previous stage to consolidate his advantage, despite various riders making moves in the final 40km of the longest leg of the Grand Tour race.
Marco Frapporti repeatedly tried to pull away, but he was reeled back in and faded badly at the last, with Mohoric instead emerging as the frontrunner.
The Bahrain-Merida man held off competition from Nico Denz in a late push for the line, crossing for his first stage win at this event, while Sam Bennett boosted his points classification challenge with a third-placed finish.
Yates came 17th, just ahead of defending champion Tom Dumoulin, who now represents his closest challenger, with the gap between the rivals standing at 41 seconds.
Chris Froome was slightly better off in 15th, yet he only climbed to 10th in the general classification, two and a half minutes behind the leader.
The one big blow for Yates occurred early as team-mate Esteban Chaves slipped well off the pace after a difficult start.
"He had a bad moment at the start of the day," Yates said afterwards. "Straight after the rest day, you don't know how your body responds."
NO FROOME MOVE YET
Defending champion Dumoulin may be up into second, but Froome, the other big name, is leaving it very late for a title challenge in Italy.
"Stranger things have happened", was his optimistic viewpoint before this stage, yet he has made up little ground after another day's racing and now faces a tough next leg.
Both Dumoulin and Froome, along with the rest of the chasing pack, will no doubt have been boosted by Chaves' problems for Mitchelton-Scott.
Froome had described Yates' position, with team-mate Chaves on hand, as "the dream scenario" and it looks like the race leader will be left to his own devices as he looks to hold out for an unlikely victory.
On a day when Chaves was nowhere to be seen, though, Yates showed promising signs.
1. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) 6:04:52
2. Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale)
3. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:34
4. Enrico Battaglin (Team LottoNL-Jumbo)
5. Davide Ballerini (Androni-Sidermec)
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 43:42:38
2. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +0:41
3. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +0:46
1. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) 178
2. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 112
3. Davide Ballerini (Androni-Sidermec) 87
King of the Mountains
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 55
2. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) 47
3. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) 36
The riders will be back in action again on Wednesday, making the 156km journey from Assisi to Osimo, where they will find one of the shorter, steeper summit finishes.