Simon Yates won his second race of the year at Paris-Nice on Thursday, the 25.5km individual time trial in Barbentane.
Though trailing race leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) by over 18 mins after suffering huge loses in the crosswinds earlier in the week, the Mitchelton-Scott rider produced an assured performance on the rolling course.
Just one rider – Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) – came within 10 seconds of the Briton, while overnight leader Kwiatkowski finished the day in third place, 11 secs slower than 2018 Vuelta a España champion Yates.
Yates later admitted the victory – his first ever time trial win at any level – had been unexpected. “I knew it was going to be tough,” he said. “I really didn’t believe it was a good course for me at all, no climbing whatsoever almost. I’m only out of the GC [general classification] because I lost time in the crosswinds. A really good day.”
Paris-Nice continues on Friday with the 176.5km sixth stage from Peynier to Brignoles and concludes on Sunday with the 110km eighth stage around Nice.