Simon Yates leads Tour of the Alps after second stage win

·2-min read
Britain's Simon Yates leads after stage two of the Tour of the Alps.

Britain's Simon Yates powered to a solo victory in the Tour of the Alps in Austria on Tuesday to take the overall race lead as he builds towards next month's Giro d'Italia.

Yates, riding for Team BikeExchange, finished 41 seconds ahead of defending champion Pavel Sivakov of Ineos Grenadiers after the first mountain stage of the race between Austria and Italy.

Ireland's Dan Martin of the Israel Start-Up Nation team finished third nearly a minute off the pace following the short but tough 121km run from Innsbruck to Feichten im Kaunertal.

Martin's teammate and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome struggled for the second day and is sitting 106th overall nearly 20 minutes off the lead.

Yates, 28, attacked on the penultimate first-category climb building on his lead to claim his first win of the season.

"I tried really hard, it was a very tough climb," said the 2018 Vuelta a Espana winner.

"Those guys were not easy to get rid of, I tried several times and that really took it out of me for the valley road to the finish.

"I enjoy these (shorter) stages, we race from the start rather than messing around for 150km and then racing only for the final," explained last year's Tirreno-Adriatico winner.

Yates started last year's Giro d'Italia but was forced to pull out before the eighth stage after testing positive for Covid-19.

"So far so good, but there's still a lot of very hard stages to come so we will see what we can do in the next few days," added the Britain.

Australia's Jai Hindley, runner-up in last year's Giro d'Italia, crossed in sixth, with Colombian Nairo Quintana, a former Giro winner, in 13th.

France's Thibaut Pinot, the 2018 Alps winner, finished over 12 minutes off the pace, and is in 85th position overall.

Wednesday's mountainous 162km third stage crosses from Imst in Austria to Naturno in Italy.

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