Simon Yates wins Paris-Nice time trial while twin Adam moves into Tirreno-Adriatico lead

Simon Yates riding his time trial bike during his stage five victory at Paris-Nice

Simon Yates won the 2018 Vuelta a Espana

Britain’s Simon Yates won his first ever time trial on stage five of Paris-Nice moments after twin brother Adam moved into the race lead on stage two of Tirreno-Adriatico.

Simon, 26, completed the 25.5km course in Barbentane, France in 30 minutes 26 seconds, beating Germany’s Nils Politt by seven seconds.

“It’s really unexpected,” he said.

Adam finished fifth on an uphill finish in Pomarance, Italy, with France’s Julian Alaphilippe winning the stage.

He takes over the leader’s blue jersey from Mitchelton-Scott team-mate Michael Hepburn following the Australian outfit’s victory in the team time trial on Wednesday.

Paris-Nice ends with stage eight on Sunday, while the seven-stage Tirreno-Adriatico concludes on Tuesday.

An ‘unexpected’ victory

Vuelta a Espana champion Simon had dropped out of overall contention by losing time in crosswinds earlier in the race and came into the stage trailing leader Michal Kwiatkowski by over 18 minutes.

As a result the Mitchelton-Scott rider set off midway through the pack but put in a strong ride to set a mark that none of the favourites for either the stage or overall win could beat.

Team Sky’s Kwiatkowski was third on the day, four seconds further back on Politt, to extend his overall lead, with team-mate Egan Bernal moving up to second, 19 seconds down.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” said Simon, who has struggled in time trials in the past.

“I really didn’t believe it was a good course for me at all, no climbing whatsoever almost but it was a really good day.”

‘That finish doesn’t suit me’

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Adam Yates is basing his season around a Tour de France podium bid

At Tirreno-Adriatico, the overall favourites were all at the front approaching the end of the 195km stage from Camaiore before Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic attacked with 3km to go.

He was joined by four riders before the group came back together, with Roglic making another dig but unable to break up the race as a sprint finish beckoned.

Deceuninck-Quick Step rider Alaphilippe held off CCC Team’s Greg van Avermaet to claim his second win in five days, following victory in Strade Bianche on Saturday.

Adam rolled in fifth to take the race lead based on stage placings, with team-mate Brent Bookwalter second on the same time and Roglic now third, seven seconds back.

“This kind of finish doesn’t suit me down to the ground, it’s more for the punchier guys like Alaphilippe and Van Avermaet, so I’m happy with my position,” he said.

“It’s good, I’m not sure how long I’ll hold onto the race lead, but we’ll try our best and see how it goes.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/47574903

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