Yates out to claim elusive Giro title

After winning the Vuelta with Michelton-Scott, Simon Yates is one of the pre-race Giro favourites.
After winning the Vuelta with Michelton-Scott, Simon Yates is one of the pre-race Giro favourites.

Simon Yates will lead the Australian Mitchelton-Scott cycling team again at the Giro d'Italia, determined to consign last year's dramatic finish to history.

The British star has already showed he learned his lessons, going on last season to win the Vuelta a Espana.

It was the first Grand Tour title for Mitchelton-Scott in their seven-year history.

But Yates is itching to return to the Giro from May 11 in the wake of what happened 12 months ago.

He stuck to his strategy of shaking the Giro up wherever possible, winning three stages and wearing the famed maglia rosa as race leader for nearly a fortnight.

But then came Chris Froome's improbable long-range attack in stage 19, that blew the race apart two days from the finish.

Just as Froome took the Giro by the throat, Yates lost nearly 40 minutes and eventually finished outside the top 20.

"It's just about spending energy where you need to and where you don't need to," Yates said of what he learned from the Giro.

"We went into the Giro with a tactic, that I needed to really be super-aggressive.

"In the end it didn't come off, but that's OK - you learn from those mistakes.

"I've already implemented it at the Vuelta, so I'm looking to a similar sort of plan for the Giro."

Yates has enjoyed a strong start to this season and importantly, had his first individual time trial win in a stage race.

That is significant, given there are three time trial stages in the Giro, which starts on May 11 with a race against the clock in Bologna.

"That gives me a lot of confidence, I've worked a lot on the time trial," Yates said.

Asked if he feels a sense of unfinished business at the Giro, Yates told AAP: "a little bit".

"I'm very motivated to go back and try to win," he said.

"I'm under no illusions that it's going to be very difficult. My rivals are strong and they've shown that in the early season."

Froome is not racing the Giro this year, but Dutch star Tom Dumoulin and Italian Vincenzo Nibali, nicknamed the Shark Of Messina, are previous champions who will be among Yates' key rivals.

Caleb Ewan's new team Lotto-Soudal have also confirmed the Australian sprint ace will race at the Giro and his aim will be stage wins, especially in the opening days of the three-week race.

Australian Associated Press