The 2018 had some crazy hard racing even on stages Yates did well on. That collapse was real, by all means he shouldn't have been dropped on Prato Nevoso. The Etna stage was ridden pretty hard from beginning to end with Chaves in the break IIRC, and Gran Sasso was also really hard.I feel like this race gave us a slightly better picture of what to think of Yates. He is insanely good on stages that aren't overly hard until the final climb. He can make brutal attacks that hardly anyone can follow but he isn't overly great at sustaining those efforts. Meanwhile he isn't that good if a stage is super tough, if riders are at their limit for hours instead of minutes, the altitude is extremely high or the weather is grueling.
The giro 2018 was a result of everything falling into place for him. The route was completely missing proper multiple mountain stages until the final week, the weather on the gc relevant stages was relatively good and the mountain stages were all a waiting game until one rider put in one big attack relatively close to the finish. We saw that Yates was brilliant in stages that suited him to the toe and just assumed that he would be able to perform that way in different kinds of stages too. At this point I genuinely wonder what would have happened without his complete collapse. He might have struggled to defeat Dumoulin and Froome on stages 19 and 20 anyway.
In comparison, the 2019 Giro had rather few mountain stages but almost all of them were absolutely brutal. Sure, his shape was probably weaker too, but I doubt that pre collapse 2018 would have won that race either.
My question is, how would the Yates who won stage 19 yesterday have fared in comparison to 2018 Yates. I genuinely wonder if he was any weaker or if 2018 was really just the result of an inconsistent rider avoiding to have his bad days when it mattered before collapsing so hard that it can't really be put down to classic inconsistency either.
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