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Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia: Simon Yates loses more time after being dropped in frenetic stage 13 finale

BikeExchange sport director Matt White says that Yates' knee injury is 'manageable but not ideal.'

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CUNEO, Italy (VN) — BikeExchange-Jayco sport director, Matt White says that he’s not concerned after Simon Yates was dropped in the final kilometers of stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia.

Yates has been struggling with a knee injury, which would ultimately see him tumble out of GC contention, since he was involved during a crash on stage 4. In the end, he rolled over the line at 7:44 behind the stage winner Arnaud Démare.

White said that while Yates had not completely recovered from his knee injury, he was merely conserving his energy in what had been a fast and furious day of racing.

“It’s manageable but not ideal that’s for sure,” White told VeloNews. “Obviously, he’s far from 100 percent so there’s no need to push on a flat stage. We’re not riding for the general classification. He might still be in that end of the rankings but we’re just sitting here doing our thing. There’s no need to waste energy for nothing.”

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Yates was distanced inside the final 30 kilometers of the stage as the pace of the peloton ramped up in an effort to bring back the four-man chase up the road. It was a frenetic pace being set by the sprint teams, which were concerned that the break might make it all the way to the line.

It was clear quite quickly that Yates wasn’t overly concerned by losing touch as he and two of his teammates, Lawson Craddock and Chris Juul-Jensen, did not attempt to make a chase. The time loss means that he’s now almost 20 minutes down in the overall standings.

“We did a bottle run and then it split on a little rise there and there was a group of 30 out the back, but it was no stress as it wasn’t our priority to look after Simon today,” White explained.

It wasn’t just the pace that was hot during stage 13 as the temperature soared once again. It has been a scorching Giro d’Italia with temperatures regularly up around the 86 degrees mark (30 centigrade).

The hot weather is expected to last through the next few days, and White believes it could play a factor as it takes its toll on riders.

“There were very high speeds again today, but I’ve been really surprised by the continual days of heat. I feel like I’m at the Tour de France,” he said. “Another day of consecutive heat, the racing has been very aggressive, and I think that it’s going to bite a lot of people when we get to the big mountains in the coming days.”

With over a week and several mountain stages left of the Giro, there are still chances for Yates to get another victory on the board and go out of the race on a high note. He already has a stage win after his surprising victory in the time trial on day two, but the team hopes that he can find the form again to get another on his palmarès before the race is up.

“We certainly hope so and that’s another reason for losing time,” White said. We’re in that zone there where people aren’t going to let one of the favorites back into the GC picture. I don’t know how much time we lost today but it won’t change how we ride.

“We’ve got options and on days that suit us, then it’s time to move. It should be fun. We want to leave here with more wins, but when and where they are, we have to take it day by day and see where our best chances are.”