Simon Yates sets aim at Giro d'Italia 2019 to rid himself of 'bitter taste' left by this year's race

The British rider who spent 13 days in the maglia rosa in 2018 wants to 'finish the job off'

Simon Yates on stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Simon Yates will return to the Giro d'Italia in 2019, aiming to put memories of this year's race behind him and 'finish the job off'.

The 26-year-old spent a full 13 days in the maglia rosa, putting in dominant performances that saw eventual winner Chris Froome call him 'untouchable'.

However, after entering stage 18 with a 28-second lead over Tom Dumoulin, when Froome put in a momentous attack to win the following day, Yates dropped back and let a deficit of 38-minutes remove him from the pink jersey.

Since then, the Mitchelton-Scott rider from Bury has gone on to claim victory of the Vuelta a España, and has every intention of carrying his learnings into the Italian race in 2019.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the Giro d’Italia next year. It’s a race I have great memories from this year but it was one which also left a bitter taste in my mouth so I want to go back to try to finish the job off," Yates said.

“I’m already working hard to arrive in great shape and I can’t wait for the season to begin."

The 2019 Giro d'Italia route boasts seven summit finishes, plus three individual time trials.

“The Giro is always an extremely difficult race and next year, with three time trials, it’s maybe not perfectly suited to me but we will still give it a real go and see what we can achieve,” he said.

Commenting on Yates' prospects, head sports director Matt White said: “Experience does matter. He will return with the self-assurance that he’s been there, he knows what to expect with the different style of racing and he and the team know they can win a Grand Tour.

“It’s a decent course for Simon. There’s three time trials but all of them have a degree of climbing in them so they are not your pure specialist courses. We’ve come a long way with his time trialling and we still see there’s more room for improvement but if anything, it’s turning into a bit of a strength for Simon.

“There’s very little climbing in the first ten days but it’s still the hardest Giro I have seen in the last decade. There’s around three of four stages of more than 5000m of climbing. It’s a massive load, there’s some big long days.

“Regardless of who is on the start line, Simon will go in as one of the favourites and we’re comfortable with that. We’ll go back with a strong climbing team, including Basque climber Mikel Nieve, similar to our approach in 2018.”