Adam Yates eyeing success in week-long stage races in 2016

The 2015 Clasica San Sebastian winner says that he'd prefer to be competitive in week-long stage races over the Classics next year, as he continues his progression to GC contender

Adam Yates wins the 2015 Clasica San Sebastian
(Image credit: Watson)

Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) won his first WorldTour race, the Clásica San Sebastián, on Saturday, but already he is preparing for the next step. After some time at home in England, he will race again in Canada in September and start to think about 2016, with important week-long stage races on the menu.

The 22-year-old soloed away in team Orica's white and blue colours to beat Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) and defending champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to win in San Sebastián. After the one-day classic win, against some of the best one-day riders, it would seem logical for Yates to target similar races in the Ardennes Classics in April.

"The other big races are the same, with just more stress that surrounds the race. It doesn't change how you race it," Yates told Cycling Weekly.

"Every one-day race you approach similarly. You have to go in with aims and objectives."

Pushed on which one-day race win could be next, the Brit wouldn't answer specifically with one of the Ardennes Classics like La Flèche Wallonne or Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

"I can't really answer that question," he said. "It's a race that suits me, I'm going to try to win, but it's not all about that, you have to have luck, super legs on the day and... Any race similar finish to San Sebastián, I have a good chance of winning. Why not?"

Clasica San Sebastian

Adam Yates goes on the attack in the 2015 Clasica San Sebastian (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Classics like San Sebastián, Liège-Bastogne-Liège or the Giro di Lombardia travel over 200km and take in multiple climbs, suiting stage race cyclists with a kick and a bit of guile.

>>> Watch: Who me?! The moment Adam Yates realises he’s won San Sebastián

When asked about the one-day races again, Yates paused before responding.

"I'm not really afraid to say which one. Honestly, if it up to me, I'd prefer to try to win a week-long stage race first, Tirreno-Adriatico or Paris-Nice, or something like this, and then take it from there.”

Yates and his twin brother Simon have already made a good run in week-long stage races since turning professional in 2014 at 21-years-old. Adam won the Tour of Turkey last year and placed sixth overall in the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné alongside all the Tour de France favourites.

He placed ninth overall behind winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar) – 2014 Giro d'Italia winner and two time runner-up in the Tour de France – in the Tirreno-Adriatico this March. It could have been sixth or better, but he slid behind on the final day's time trial.

Yates said, "I guess I need to work on my time trialling or go to a race without a time trial!"

A crash in the País Vasco stage race, and a broken right middle finger, slowed down the young rider from Bury. He returned in time to make his debut alongside Simon in the Tour de France, where he finished seventh in two stages.

Now, after some time home, he will head to Canada to race the Tour of Alberta, and more WorldTour races, the GP de Québec and the GP de Montréal.

Then its on to 2016, with victory in a week-long stage race in mind.

Simon Yates - Show us your scars

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.