Yates has ‘no regrets’ after dropping from first to 18th in Giro stage

An emotional Simon Yates said he had "no regrets", vowing to come back stronger after losing nearly 40 minutes on stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia yesterday, tumbling from first to 18th overall and out of maglia rosa contention.

"I was extremely exhausted and I gave everything today": Simon Yates.

Photo: AP

Yates, from Bury, had led the Giro for two weeks, ever since his second-placed finish on Mount Etna. But he cracked for the first time on Thursday's stage to Prato Nevoso, seeing his slender 58sec lead over Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin slashed in half.

And yesterday's 19th stage was a pure horror show. Yates fell behind when Team Sky and Chris Froome attacked on the Colle delle Finestre climb and he never recovered.

"I was extremely exhausted and I gave everything today," a tearful Yates said. "At the start, no, I had no indication. I was just really tired and extremely exhausted.

"That's bike racing unfortunately, that's it. I tried to manage [my losses when Froome went], but then it was blowing out really quickly and I had nothing to give. I'm just really, really exhausted and that's how it is."


Yates's sporting director, Matt White, had told The Daily Telegraph at the start of the day that his man was "feeling good" and that he would "not be giving up without a fight". But Yates revealed afterwards that he had been struggling since Tuesday's time trial, when he dug deep to limit his losses to world TT champion Dumoulin and had been putting on a "poker face".

"After the time trial, I've not recovered since then. There's been some poker face until today," Yates said. "That [Tuesday] was the hardest day of my life. But I'll be back. I'll be back to win some day. I don't have any regrets. Like I said yesterday, nobody would have bet on me to win the Giro at the start. I'm very proud of what I've done."

Yates added that he expected his compatriot Froome to go on and win the race now, with just one stage remaining before tomorrow's ceremonial finish in Rome.

"Tomorrow is a very difficult day," Yates said of today's stage to Cervinia, which features a third summit finish in three days. "I think he will be able to hold on to the jersey now, but he will be hurting from the effort today."

The Telegraph, London

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