Simon Yates eyes Giro d’Italia ‘patience’ while playing down chances

Simon Yates is once again focused on the Giro d’Italia

Simon Yates says he has learned how to be patient ahead of the start of this year’s Giro d’Italia, while playing down his chances of winning the pink jersey.

The Giro d’Italia begins on Friday in Budapest with the 29-year-old Yates among the favourites to win the first Grand Tour of the year.

Yates is making a fifth bid for the pink jersey and infamously led the 2018 race for 13 days before falling away in stage 19 as Chris Froome launched his attack.

Yates went on to win the Vuelta a España that year but a third place finish 12 months ago is the closest he has came since to winning the Giro.

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“I’ve learned patience,” Yates said. “You need to be quite calm. The race is three weeks.

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“You can always go back to 2018 where we really went after it in the first and second weeks and then fell apart in the third.

“But even last year I had some problems with my hamstrings in the first week but still came good towards the end, managed a stage and arrived on the podium.

“You’ve got to have an eye on the big picture, be patient and wait for the race to come to you.”

Yates is among the general classification favourites ahead of the 21-stage race, with the Ineos rider and 2019 winner Richard Carapaz also strongly fancied.

“The riders are just anxious to start,” Yates said. “There are others who will be competitive.

“Take it back to last year. I’d won the Tour of the Alps and I kept reading I was a massive favourite.

“Romain Bardet won the Tour of the Alps this year and I’ve heard nothing about him so there’s a few guys flying under the radar.”

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