By Nigel Wynn
Adam Yates will head into this weekend's mountain stages of the Tour of Alberta in Canada with an eye on the general classification.
The 23-year-old British rider is co-leader of Orica-GreenEdge alongside home rider Christian Meier. Yates took his first WorldTour victory in August when he won the Clasica San Sebastian.
The Tour of Alberta has gone well for Orica-GreenEdge so far. The Australian squad placed second in the opening team time trial, just one second behind Trek Factory Racing, and Michael Matthews won the sprint at the end of stage two to assume the overall lead.
Yates is currently in fifth place overall, 10 seconds behind Matthews.
Today's stage three features an uphill kick into Jasper, in the Rocky Mountains, giving Yates and the GC men their first chance to make a mark.
Saturday's stage four to the Marmot Basin Ski Area in Jasper takes the riders up a testing 12-kilometre climb to the finish line, which at 1600 metres above sea level is the highest finish in the race's history.
Watch: how much do the Yates brothers REALLY know about each other?
Sunday's stage five is no less demanding. Although is is free of major climbs, its route from Edson to Spruce Grove travels 206 kilometres, 56.4 kilometres of which are over dirt roads. It's a stage that looks as though it would suit former pro mountain biker and 2012 Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin).
The UCI 2.1-ranked race concludes in Edmonton on Monday, September 7.
Yates made his Tour de France debut in July, and made his mark by finishing in the top 10 on two stages before winning San Sebastian on August 1. Adam and twin brother Simon are on the long list to represent Great Britain at the 2015 World Championships in Richmond, USA, at the end of September.
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