Orica-GreenEdge team is planning on both British brothers Adam and Simon Yates riding the 2016 Tour de France, with an eye on the overall classification

The Yates twins, Adam and Simon, will return to the Tour de France when it begins from France’s northwest next July if all goes according to plan. They will race for stage wins, and perhaps the overall, say team Orica-GreenEdge.

After Simon raced half of the 2014 edition, they debuted together in the 2015 Tour. They both collected two top 10 stage finishes over the three weeks.

“I spoke to them at the end of the season, and I’ll do so again,” Sports Director Matt White told Cycling Weekly. “We can run a similar template to 2015, but aim for higher.”

>>> Adam and Simon Yates: Britain’s future Tour de France winners?

White wants the already successful 23-year-olds to improve on every level throughout the season. Instead of ninth place in the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, which Adam achieved, White would like to see a podium spot.

Simon placed fifth overall in the Vuelta al País Vasco, sixth in the Tour de Romandie, and fifth behind Sky’s Chris Froome in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Adam won the Clásica San Sebastián after the Tour and placed second in the GP Montréal.

Simon and Adam Yates on stage three of the 2015 Tour de France (Watson)

Simon and Adam Yates on stage three of the 2015 Tour de France (Watson)

“A successful year next year would be to podium on some of those WorldTour stage races,” White continued.

“They will be a great option next year in Ardennes Classics, like Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, we already have Michael Albasini and Simon Gerrans, but they give us two other options.

“Simon placed top 10 in Huy when the Tour de France finished there, so there is no reason he can’t ride well in Flèche Wallonne.”

>>> Tour de France route 2016 confirmed

Orica’s other developing grand tour cyclist, Colombian Esteban Chaves is on course to return to the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. White explained that the 25-year-old is further along in his career and can already aim for an overall win after placing fifth and winning two stages in the Vuelta this August/September.

The Yates’s path will look very similar to 2015, with one in Tirreno-Adriatico and one in Paris-Nice, and both likely returning to the Dauphiné stage race in June ahead of the Tour’s start from Mont Saint-Michel.


Watch: Yates vs Yates


“At this stage, I’m not going to rule out those guys getting through the first week unscathed. We’ll have a better idea in six months’ time obviously,” White said.

“This year we deliberately cruised through the first week and then targeted some stages. They achieved a lot, and we are going to see more next year. I’m not going to rule out those guys racing for the GC. Worse case, they get caught up in some action, lose time, and we just go back to the same plan as [2015] and we try to win a mountain stage.”

Tour organiser ASO unveiled the race’s 2016 route on Tuesday in Paris. The Yates’s will have their chances early on, with stage two including ramps up to 14 per cent in its finale.

“Half the Tour de France is suited to them,” White added. “There won’t be a lack of opportunities.”