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Simon Yates: 'If there's an opportunity at the Giro, I'll take it'

Giro d'Italia favourite will be 'calm and careful' in this year's edition but admits he'll need to take chances in order to win in Milan

Will Strickson
7 May 2021

Giro d'Italia favourite Simon Yates wasn't giving much away at his Giro d'Italia pre-race press conference yesterday.

Talking over Zoom shortly before the team presentation, the Team BikeExchange rider was adamant that he, and the team, had learnt from previous mistakes in the race and would approach it differently to 2018 when, having worn the maglia rosa into Stage 19, he ended up finishing 22nd overall.

'You have to be calm and careful throughout the entire race,' Yates said. 'The first week we have a few tests and the second and third weeks look really hard so we have to be careful. At all moments we'll look to save energy where we can but we still need to try to win the race.'

He also said that he will need to take time over his rivals before the final time-trial in Milan, admitting it's a 'very difficult discipline' but one that he is improving at.

When asked whether this approach meant we wouldn't see the kind of attacking display we've come to expect from him, Yates said, 'We'll see. We have to see how the prologue goes first and then we'll take it day by day. I can't predict what's going to happen in the second or third week.

'It depends on what the other teams want to do and how they want to play the race but if there's an opportunity I'll try to take it.'

Calm and careful definitely fits with Yates's demeanour, answering questions on past mistakes, potential weaknesses and Remco Evenepoel with the confidence of someone about to win their second Grand Tour, though he's not ruling out any of his rivals.

'They're all great riders in their on way, each rider has their own traits,' he said. 'We're going to have to be careful and be attentive of everybody.'

I'm personally hoping Simon Yates does the business these next three weeks to help my chances in Cyclist's fantasy Giro league, which you can join for free now.