Adam Yates took his first stage race win of 2019 with victory in Croatia at the UCI 2.1 category CRO Race.
The Mitchelton-Scott rider finished 22 seconds ahead of Astana’s Davide Villella, finishing the final stage six in seventh place to seal the overall classification.
Yates stormed into the race lead by winning stage five, the 136km route from Rabac going along the coast to a summit finish at Platak, finishing 10 seconds ahead of Villella to open up a gap at the top of the GC.
Speaking after his victory, Yates said: “Today panned out perfectly, we didn’t want to risk working too much earlier in the day and having nobody in the final circuits just in case it kicked off.
“From the beginning of the week we set out to win a stage and hopefully the GC would come along with that and that’s pretty much what ended up happening. Alex was up there almost every stage challenging for the win and Brent and Callum really set me up for my win on stage five, so as a team we couldn’t have done much more.
“We had a real mix of guys here and with some of the dangerous finishing circuit things could have got out of control quickly but we stayed focused and never really ended up on back foot the whole week.”
It’s been a large disappointing 2019 for Adam Yates, having based his season around targeting the general classification at the Tour de France and ultimately falling flat, finishing 29th, more than an hour down.
CRO Race 2019, final general classification
1. Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott, in 20-57-05
2. Davide Villella (Ita) Astana, at 22 seconds
3. Víctor de la Parte (Esp) CCC, at 29s
4. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana, at 42s
5. Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-Merida, at 50s
6. Alexis Guerin (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence, at 1-09
7. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Vital Concept – B&B Hotels, at 1-25
8. Brent Bookwalter (USA) Mitchelton-Scott, at 1-42
9. Sjoerd Bax (Ned) Metec – TKH Continental, at 1-45
10. Radoslav Rogina (Cro) Adria Mobil, at 2-09