Cycling

Yates wins 'fantastic' Tour of Alps before Giro

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Simon Yates. (AFP)
Simon Yates. (AFP)

Briton Simon Yates said it was "fantastic" to win the Tour of Alps on Friday to claim his first victory of the season, ahead of next month's Giro d'Italia.

Former Vuelta a Espana champion Yates, 28, finished 58 seconds ahead of Spaniard Pello Bilbao and Russian Aleksandr Vlasov in third.

"It feels really fantastic. The team did a great job today, controlled it at the start, rode all day, then in final they were fantastic," Bike Exchange's Yates said.

"It was a short day and there wasn't so much action from the General Classification but it was still a hard day, with a lot of stress, and with a descent to the finish it's always nervous," he added.

Yates, who claimed the Tirreno-Adriatico last year, will now turn his focus to the Giro, which starts on 8 May in Turin.

Four-time former Tour de France winner Chris Froome struggled all week in the mountains between Italy and Austria finishing in 94th place, more than 41 minutes behind Yates.

Austrian Felix Grossschartner won the fifth and final stage between Valle del Chiese and Riva del Garda after a solo attack.

Bora-Hansgrohe's Grossschartner was among a seven-man group going into the final kilometre before breaking free to claim victory after just missing out earlier in the week.

"I was second on the third stage so I'm super happy today I can take the victory for the team," Grossschartner said.

"It's always great to win, every pro cyclist knows it's really hard to win a race when there are 160 guys fighting for the victory. It's always special."

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