BURY star Simon Yates suggested his preparations for the Giro d’Italia are right on track as he won stage two of the Tour of the Alps yesterday to seize the race lead.

Yates broke away on the penultimate climb of the 121.5km stage from Innsbruck to Feichten im Kaunertal, soloing to victory by 41 seconds from Ineos Grenadiers’ Pavel Sivakov.

That was enough for the Team BikeExchange rider to take the race leader’s jersey off Sivakov’s team-mate Gianni Moscon, and Yates now leads overall by 45 seconds from Sivakov.

“It was a really tough climb but a good day for us and the first win of the year so I’m very happy,” Yates said.

“So far, so good, but there’s a lot of very hard stages to go so we’ll see what we can do in the next few days and go from there.”

Yates was part of a select group including Sivakov, Hugh Carthy and Nairo Quintana to distance the peloton inside the final 25km of the day, with the 28-year-old using a series of attacks to drop his companions one-by-one.

Though the others were joined by a powerful group including Dan Martin and Romain Bardet on the approach to the final climb, they could do nothing to reel in Yates.

The Giro will begin in Sicily on May 8, with Yates making the Italian Grand Tour the first of his two major targets for the year alongside the delayed Tokyo Olympics.