Yates, who won the young rider classification at last year's Tour de France, replaces Rohan Dennis in the leader's pink jersey and has a 16-second advantage over defending champion Tom Dumoulin. "We need to go day by day, and we need to believe", said Chaves, who grinned and nodded in Yates' direction when asked who would be the protected rider at Mitchelton-Scott from here on in.
Yates added: "It was a insane day with lots of attacks going at the beginning". In the final, I saw a moment there where I had a small gap. At 1.5km out, he rocketed away from 2017 race victor Dumoulin, Froome and other favourites.
"It felt really good", Yates (25) told Eurosport. "I looked across the road and everyone was looking at each other. I didn't really have to do anything, I could sit in the wheels and save energy". "I thought OK, this is my moment".
Chaves added a podium finish at the Vuelta a España and victory at Il Lombardia later that season, but has endured a trying period since. Today was special, of course, to win on Etna. He had every chance to go flying by Chaves, but instead guided him to the line, gifting the stage to Chaves, and moving himself into pink.
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West Ham boss David Moyes paid tribute to his Republic of Ireland star Declan Rice, as he declared his satisfied with a point. He forced Adrian into two good saves before half-time and was one of United's better players.
After catching Chaves, Yates allowed his team-mate to take the stage win, even though it will cost him four bonus seconds which could prove expensive down the line. We'll hope to continue in this way. Starting in Catlanissetta, the race moved through the middle of Sicily as it made its way to Mount Etna, with a number of punchy inclines along the way.
"He had been up the road all day and he deserved it".
"I have a little bit of experience of holding a leader's jersey already". I firstly thank Jack Haig for pulling so much in the breakaway. "I knew I was taking the Maglia Rosa, which pleases me a lot". "I appreciate that there are some riders who are stronger than me now, but the Giro is very long and it's still only the 6th stage".