Mitchelton-Scott's Simon Yates scored his first-ever time trial victory on stage 5 of Paris-Nice on Thursday, beating Katusha-Alpecin's Nils Politt and Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski, who extended his overall lead at the race. Yates started the day down in 70th place on the GC, almost 20 minutes down on Kwiatkowski. And while the Briton's challenge for the overall is clearly over – in a race he finished second at 12 months ago – his focus remains on May's Giro d'Italia. The time trial win bodes well for the 26-year-old, who will face three individual time trial tests at this year's Giro: an 8.2km opening stage, with a tough uphill finish to the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca, followed on stage 9 by 34.7km effort, which again is mainly all uphill from the halfway mark, and then a final, flatter 15.6km test in Verona, which is also the final stage of the race.ADVERTISEMENT While a gifted climber, 2018 Vuelta a España winner Yates has often been unable to match many of his rivals – and in particular the likes of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin – against the clock. However, Yates credited both the work he's been putting in to improve at riding 'the race of truth' and a TT course that ended up suiting him for his victory on Thursday at Paris-Nice. "I'm really happy with my performance," Yates said on the Mitchelton-Scott website. "I've been working on my time trial quite a lot for the last few years, but I didn't really expect to be fastest today. At the start of the day I thought it was one for the TT specialists, so especially with how this course was, I'm very happy.
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