Adam Yates has had a dream start to his professional career but is not letting the mounting hype bother him.
“There’s never any pressure,” the 21-year-old told Cycling Weekly. “I just want to do well for myself because it’s always good to get a result.”
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Yates has put several good results on his palmarès since joining Orica-GreenEdge over the winter. He won the Tour de San Luis young riders classification and the Tour of Turkey overall title. In the Tour of California last month, he placed fifth behind winner Bradley Wiggins.
He said that he has no pressure on himself, but he revealed that he had thought about doing something special. This winter, he and twin brother Simon trained often in the rain around Bury and with a purpose.
“I put the work in this winter, and when you’re training that hard, if you don’t expect a little something or results then you’d be a little low in morale,” Yates explained. “The hard work’s shown. I hope it can continue but as I said, there’s no pressure from the team.”
Simon is recovering from a broken collarbone suffered in Turkey. Adam began the Critérium du Dauphiné today in Lyon. He rode the opening 10.4-kilometre time trial in 13-52 minutes.
Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and many of the other big stars are racing with eyes on the Tour de France. Yates, instead, hopes to make his mark in the Dauphiné. His chance could come already tomorrow when the second stage finishes with the Col du Béal climb.
“On paper, the last stage [to Courchevel] suits me the most because it’s pretty short. The climb’s not super steep so it’ll be harder for the big guys to drop me,” added Yates.
“I haven’t done the Courchevel climb before but I did a couple of them in this area in the Tour de L’Avenir last year. For example, we go through Châtel, where Simon won a stage last year.”
Yates continued to cool down after the time trial. He appeared relaxed and comfortable in his surroundings, and not bothered to be a neo-pro among the “big guys.”
“It’s not unheard of for a neo-pro to do so well, you saw last year with Warren Barguil,” said Yates. “He won two stages of the Vuelta a España. If you have the legs and you really want it then you can always try to do something.”
All-British day at Tour of Turkey as Adam Yates and Mark Cavendish triumph in Istanbul
Defending Criterium du Dauphine champion Chris Froome takes early race lead with dominant display in time trial