By Kenny Pryde
Adam Yates finished second overall just over a minute behind overall race winner Ruben Fernandez of Spain in a tough seven-stage-and-a-prologue Tour de l'Avenir, arguably the most prestigious stage race in the Under-23 Coupe de Nations calendar.
It was the best overall performance by a British rider in the race since 1982, when Robert Millar, riding for the Peugeot pro team, finished second overall behind winner Greg LeMond.
The race was effectively won on the first mountain top finish in St Francois Longchamp on stage four when 22-year old Fernandez - who rides with Pro Continental Spanish team Caja Rural - soloed to a 1-50 stage win. The win gave him the lead overall from Austrian Patrick Konrad as well as a lead of 1-30 over the other fancied riders and he and his team defended it diligently for the remainder of the race.
Backing up French-domiciled Adam Yates was his brother Simon, the reigning British Under-23 road race and World points champion who won back-to-back stages in the race, finally finishing a creditable 10th overall.
On stage five which finished in Morzine in the French Alps, Simon Yates took the stage, profiting from a great lead-out by brother Adam in the final kilometre, with Adam still managing to finish second. Simon won again the following day, while on the final stage seven - a mountain top finish at Plateau des Glières - Adam was third and Simon 10th behind French talent Julian Alaphilippe who has signed a pro contract with Omega Pharma for 2014.
British team manager Keith Lambert declared himself delighted with the performance of the whole team which, in addition to the Yates brothers, comprised under-23 time trial champion Sam Harrison, Joe Perrett, Owain Doull and Al Slater. Both Doull and Harrison crashed on the first road stage and finally climbed off on the final stage.
"I think this is the best performance by a British rider in this race since Robert Millar with Peugeot back in the early 1980s," said Lambert later, "the last couple of stages were savage and you needed to be a decent climber to get results there.
"The rest of lads did what they could on the opening stages for them, but they're not climbers so they (the Yates brothers) were pretty much on their own in the mountains. They've really put themselves in the shop window with those results."
Apart from Simon Yates, the other big winner was 19-year-old Australian Caleb Ewan who took two bunch gallops while the other stages were won by Dane Michael Valgren Andersen and Alaphilippe, who also won the points jersey.
Final overall general classification
1. Ruben Fernandez (Spain)
2. Adam Yates (GB) at 0-55
3. Patrick Konrad (Austria)
4. Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kazakhstan)
5. Oskar Svendsen (Norway)
6. Davide Formolo (Italy)
7. Heiner Parra (Colombia)
8. Gavin Mannion (USA)
9. Toms Skujins (Lithuania)
10. Simon Yates (GB) at 3-44
Stage wins: Alexis Gougeard (prologue), Caleb Ewan (stages one and two), Michael Valgren Andersen (stage three), Ruben Fernandez (Spain), Simon Yates (stages five and six), Julian Alaphilippe (stage seven)
Stefan Bissegger takes breakaway success on stage four of Tour de Suisse 2021 as Van der Poel keeps yellow
The break looked to be coming back before the peloton completely sat up on the final climb
By Tim Bonville-Ginn •
Miguel Ángel López sets fastest time on Mont Ventoux since 2004
A look at the fastest climbers on the iconic mountain after the one-day race
By Alex Ballinger •
Home roads: Riding with the Yates brothers's first club
We head out for a spin with Bury Clarion, the club at which both Yates brothers first turned a crank in earnest, to trace the origins of our new Grand Tour stars
By Paul Knott •
Adam and Simon Yates will now both ride the Vuelta a España in pursuit of progression
Bonus extra grand tour for Adam after the Tour de France
By Michelle Arthurs-Brennan •
Adam Yates: Britain's newest Grand Tour sensation
Before his breakthrough performance at the recent Tour de France, we sat down with Adam Yates to look at his career so far and where he hopes to go in the near future
By Richard Abraham •
Adam Yates frustrated with cancelled Tirreno-Adriatico stage
Orica-GreenEdge's Adam Yates climbed his way to ninth place at Tirreno-Adriatico in 2015, but with the cancellation of this year's mountain stage the Brit is frustrated he can't challenge for the title
By Gregor Brown •
Adam Yates aims for next 'big goal' in Tirreno-Adriatico
British Orica-GreenEdge rider Adam Yates is aiming for the top step of the podium in Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy this week
By Gregor Brown •
Adam Yates scores two top 10s in weekend's French races
British rider Adam Yates placed seventh and sixth behind double winner Petr Vakoc in the Classic Sud Ardeche and La Drome races in France over the weekend
By Nigel Wynn •
10 of the best young and exciting WorldTour riders
Romain Bardet, Warren Barguil and Tom Dumoulin are just three of the names to make our list of the best young riders under the age of 25
By Stuart Clarke •
Orica-GreenEdge reveals its 'most exciting' roster for 2016
Australian WorldTour squad Orica-GreenEdge publishes full list of riders for the 2016 season, including key support for stage race hopes Adam Yates, Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves
By Nigel Wynn •