Briton Adam Yates has taken the overall lead at CRO Race after claiming a solo victory on stage five, the Queen stage of the six-day race, today.
After some strong work on the final climb from his Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates Callum Scotson and Brent Bookwalter, Yates attacked with a little under five kilometres remaining. The victory and bonus seconds give him a 15-second advantage on the general classification with one stage remaining.
With over 3300m of climbing in just 135km of racing, today’s fifth stage was always set for an aggressive showdown between the climbers. An initial move of 11 established, but they were caught with over 50km to go and by then, the race was split across the road.
A new group of 12 riders established, with Yates and Bookwalter representing Mitchelton-SCOTT. A lack of commitment saw several groups return to the front of proceedings and despite a number of attacks, it all pointed towards a showdown on the final climb.
The last of the serious moves was a solo effort by Matteo Badilatti (Israel Cycling Academy), but strong work by Scotson and then Bookwalter set up the finale for Yates.
As Badilatti was caught, Yates made his move. The attack with 4.7km remaining immediately distanced his rivals and he carried the advantage all the way to the line in Platak. He finished 10 seconds ahead of Davide Villella (Astana Pro Team) with Victor De la Parte (CCC Team) in third. Yates now leads by 15 seconds from Villella with De la Parte a further two seconds down.
Adam Yates: “The team was so good today and the whole week. We’ve been fighting for a stage and finally we got it today. This was always the main stage for me, most of the other stages were sprint stages.
“After the Canadian Classics and before the Italian Classics, this race fitted into the calendar perfectly so here we are and here we are with a victory. It’s a good day and hopefully it’ll be a good week. One more day tomorrow.”