Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) took stage 5 of the 2020 Tirreno-Adriatico from the front of a select group including Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and overall leader Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling), and rode into the overall lead.
Yates attacked in the last 4km of the stage, on the steep slopes of the final ascent, shattering the break, and forcing Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana), Thomas, and Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) to chase and try to distance themselves from leader Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling).
“It was already a fast pace first by EF and then also Astana. Rafał Majka attacked to really start the show. I saw an opportunity and really took it. I saw straight away that I got a gap and then it was just full gas,” Yates said.
Woods fought to hold on to the lead for another day, however the pace set by Yates was too much, and he dropped to eighth, 1:22 back by the finish.
The stage started with a 10-rider attack which included Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Mathias Fränk (Ag2r La Mondiale), Jhonatan Restrepo (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Marco Canola (Gazprom-RusVelo), Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto-Soudal), Hector Carretero (Movistar), Amanuel Ghebreigziabiher (NTT Pro Cycling), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Edoardo Zardini and Giovanni Visconti (both Vini Zabù-KTM).
EF Pro Cycling managed the front for Woods through the midpoint of the stage.
With 50km remaining, the break’s maximum advantage of 6:30 had dropped to 3:30. This lead fell by another two minutes, with just 25km to go.
Rui Costa (UAE Emirates) and Luca Wackermann (Vini Zabù-KTM) attacked from the base of the final climb, however they were not able to distance themselves from EF Pro Cycling and Woods.
The main peloton was now whittled down to less than two dozen for the final 10km.
Majka saw an opportunity when the group displayed a slight lull, isolating race-leader Woods.
Seeing vulnerability, attacks on the leader’s jersey were now consistent.
Yate’s took advantage of a strong move by Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) which was followed by Jakob Fuglsang (Astana).
The Mitchelton-Scott rider launched his race-winning break in the final 4km, and was able to hold on for the stage win, also taking over the general classification lead.