“Considering the injury, I’m in pretty good shape I would say. I had 10 days off completely and then a week on the home trainer just pedalling again,” Yates said.
The Andorra-based climber has been training around Lake Tahoe in the lead-up to California where Mitchelton-Scott have multiple options with he and Australian sprinter, Caleb Ewan.
“I’ve been training with the guys and it’s all been going good so far. Nothing special, but good enough,” Yates said.
“Here we have different goals, we’ve brought more of a sprint squad but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try and be competitive in GC and pretty much every stage. Realistically, I’d like to be top 10. There’s a couple of tricky stages and also the TT, which is not so easy for me.”
Yates has been keeping tabs on the exploits of twin brother, Simon, who was leading the Giro d’Italia at the time of print.
It’s a position he hopes to emulate at the Tour de France this year as Mitchelton-Scott’s primary leader.
Yates finished 50th on debut at the Tour in 2015 and just 12 months later shocked with fourth-place overall.
“I was there two years ago and, yeah, I mean last time we didn’t really go in with a plan of riding GC but I think as a rider I’ve been progressing year on year,” he said.
Yates competed at the Giro d’Italia, over the Tour, last season in which he learned the intricacies of Grand Tour team leadership, which he believes will bode well come July.
“It’s no different from that. The guys trust me and I trust the guys,” he said.
“After this [California], I go home for 10 days and then do [the Critérium du] Dauphiné. That’s pretty much it towards the Tour.
"The big goal for the season has always been the Tour and this is a good stepping stone for that,” he said.
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Sophie Smith is an Australian journalist, television reporter and presenter, who has provided coverage for Cycling Weekly from races across the world. She has covered eight Tours de France, as well as reporting for national and international newspapers as well as other magazines.
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