Adam Yates 'didn't have the legs' as he secures top 10 at Tokyo Olympics road race

The Brit was the first to open his sprint for second despite not being the fastest finisher of the chase group

Adam Yates
(Image credit: Getty)

Adam Yates put in a determined performance at the Toyko Olympics men's road race, securing a top 10 finish after making it into the select chase group, and even opening up the sprint for the line in search of a silver medal.

"It was a real tough day, I think we did the best we could," Yates told the BBC afterwards. "We rode it how we wanted to but in the end I didn't have the legs there."

Yates hadn't raced since Liège-Bastogne-Liège before today, and felt himself cramping up as he came into the final kilometres of the 234km-long race, yet still had the will to be the first to sprint for second place behind Richard Carapaz, despite knowing he didn't have the fastest finish in the group containing Wout van Aert and Tadej Pogačar.

"I was cramping there, first race back for a long time. Not sure where i finished up..." Yates continued.

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"It was a bit of a headwind on the final straight and with the guys there I was never going to win anyway so I tried to go early on the other side but then Van Aert opened up on his side early anyway and took everyone with him. I couldn't have done much more so good day in the end."

Yates think Great Britain's results, his brother Simon finishing 17th, was a good return considering half of their team crashed early on in the race, when Tao Geoghegan Hart and Geraint Thomas hit the deck, the latter later abandoning.

"We had two guys down early and in general how everyone's come into the race, I've not raced in a long time, everyone else has come from the Tour, either crashing or getting to the finish battered and bruised...so we haven't had the ideal preparation as a team but I'm sure we can be happy and we'll be back in a few years time and try again."

Team GB will now continue to monitor Geoghegan Hart's condition ahead of Wednesday's individual time trial.

"We're a little bit worried about that. The doctor's having a look at that. He does have a scrape on his side, but nothing he won't recover from fairly quickly," the team said.
"Hopefully it's just a fairly firm bruising he's got on his hand. We'll know more later on."

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.