Adam Yates debuted in the pro ranks today in a sizzling-hot Tour de San Luis. The 21-year-old British rider finished the first day of the Argentinean stage race safely in the peloton, with the temperatures at 38°C.
Yates, twin brother of Simon Yates, were there to assist team-mate and Orica-GreenEdge sprinter Aidis Kruopis. However, the stage ended with Phillip Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) taking the win from an escape group, leaving the sprinters to fight it out another day.
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“I’m excited to get out there,” Yates told Cycling Weekly at the start of the day. “Training has become a pain in the ass. I just want to get out there and start racing.”
Adam and Simon finished a successful amateur ride last season. Adam placed second overall in the Tour de L’Avenir. Simon placed 10th and won two stages. He also won a stage of the Tour of Britain, where Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and other professionals raced.
“It’s not like I really have goose bumps. Even last year we did big races, we did the Tour of Britain which is the same ranking as San Luis,” Adam said.
“I don’t have goose bumps but I’m excited to get going after a big training block. The Orica riders were in Australia for three weeks, I was in Manchester for three weeks and we’ve been here for a week training beforehand.”
He said that he has acclimatised to the weather, which has been a change from the constant rain in Manchester. In Argentina, he rooms with Christian Meier, who was in today’s escape.
Yates survived while others suffered. Alessandro Petacchi (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) felt ill with stomach problems overnight and the combination of the heat forced him to retire.
Adam and Simon signed for Australia’s Orica team instead of turning pro with home team Sky. After a successful run, they are going to focus on gaining expertise over results.
“This season is different because there’s not really much pressure. I have goals later in the season but nothing major, just to get up there and get some experience. Hopefully next year I’ll develop further,” Adam said.
“The team and I are on the same page. I don’t want to push it and start saying I want to target this or that, I’m not up to par to do that. This season’s all about learning from the big guys and getting experience.”