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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 18 October, 2019

Froome takes control of Giro d'Italia after astonishing stage victory

The Tour de France champion put over three minutes on all his rivals in a disastrous day for Simon Yates in stage 19.

Image: AP/PA Images

CHRIS FROOME IS just on a different level altogether.

The Team Sky rider and four-time Tour de France winner put in an astonishing effort to win Stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia and seize the lead in a performance that could go down as one of cycling’s best.

In the overall standing, Froome now holds a 40-second lead over Tom Dumuolin and a lead of over four minutes on third placed Thibaut Pinot with just two stages to go. The last stage finishes in Rome on Sunday.

The maglia rosa holder at the beginning of the day, Simon Yates took a 56-second advantage into the stage but was lost a long way back in a disastrous day for the Briton. Other contender Tom Dumuolin finished three minutes and 23 seconds behind Froome in fifth place.

Froome made a dramatic attack with a massive 80 kilometres to go and stormed ahead up the famous Colle Delle Finistre climb and a further two climbs and put massive time between him and his rivals, picking up additional bonus-seconds for winning the stage.

“I don’t think I’ve ever attacked with 80km to go like that before on my own, and got all the way to the finish,” he told Eurosport.

“But the team did such a fantastic job to set that up for me. It was going to take something really special to try and first of all get rid of Simon, to get away from Dumoulin and Pozzovivo and to go from fourth to first.

“I wasn’t going to do that on the last climb alone so I had to try it from a long way back and Colle delle Finestre was the perfect place to do it – a gravel road which reminds me of the roads back in Africa.

“I tried to stay within my limits and stay within myself there, so hopefully we can finish this off tomorrow.”

The British rider has never won the Giro d’Italia, his best finish was 36th in 2009. He propelled himself into contention after victory in stage 14 last Saturday, recovering from a poor opening week.

Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez holds on to the white jersey in the Giro after a fourth place finish on Friday while Ireland’s Sam Bennett also remains in second place in the points classification for sprints.

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