Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), after attacking free in the last two Giro d’Italia stages, is growing in confidence despite unknown problems earlier in the Grand Tour.
Yates gained 40 seconds over some of his rivals after riding free in the final 11 kilometres of stage 15 along the shores of Lake Como.
“I’m going in the right direction, sensations are getting better,” Yates said back at the team bus.
“When the race kicked off there, I was not with Nibali, but I’m getting there.”
Yates attacked on the Sormano climb and not able to get free, went again on the heels of an attack by Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) on the Civiglio climb.
“My legs? They are just working now, instead of not working. I think also in the days before I wasn’t able to go over my limit and really recover, I think once I went over, that was kind of it and now I’m able to go over it and race normally, which is obviously making a big difference when you are making those accelerations or someone starts riding.”
Yates lost 3-11 minutes in the San Marino time trial and 2-03 on the summit finish at Lago Serrù on stage 13. Now, with the gains added back, he sits eighth overall at 5-24 minutes behind leader Richard Carapaz (Movistar).
“Your guess is as good as mine [why I was off], I’m still searching for an answer,” he said. “We don’t know yet either if I just had a good couple of days here, or better couple of days I should say, and in the next week… We’ll see what happens there.”
After gaining 22 seconds on Saturday and working hard again on Sunday to finish off his weekend, Yates will rest with the rest of the Giro caravan on Monday. Ahead, more mountain days starting with Tuesday’s finish to Ponte di Legno over the Mortirolo climb.
“That’s probably the best thing, more the confidence that I’m gaining now,” Yates added.
“We still have a hard final week, I will not start making claims that I’m back or anything again now because everyone was a bit pissed off at me then. I feel better, I just hope it stays that way.”