Simon Yates confirms his Grand Tour plans for 2021 

The British star will be returning to Italy once again in the hopes of taking the pink jersey 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Simon Yates has confirmed his Grand Tour plans for the 2021 season, as he will target the Giro d’Italia for a fourth consecutive year.

The British star, winner of the 2018 Vuelta a España, will return to the Italian Grand Tour this spring after developing a love-hate relationship with the race in the last few years.

While Yates led the race for 13 stages in 2018, taking three stage wins before dramatically falling out of contention with two days left to race, he has never finished on the Giro podium. 

But as the organisers announced the 2021 Giro d'Italia route this week, Yates has confirmed his attendance at the 104th edition this May.

The 28-year-old said: “The last two or three years haven’t gone as I would have hoped with a combination of bad luck and some mistakes along the way.

 “All I hope for is to have a clean run in 2021 without these things and that I can show myself in the best way possible.” 

This year’s race features a number of notable inclusions - two time trials on stage one and stage 21 totalling just 38.4km combined, a Monte Zoncolan summit finish and a gravel stage featuring 34km of off-road terrain in Tuscany. 

Yates said: “The 2021 Giro route looks really nice, there’s a good mix of stages and there’s even some gravel roads thrown in for good measure.” 

 “As always with the Giro, the final week looks hard and with only a small amount of time trial kilometres I think that is where the race will be decided.” 

“I remember watching the gravel stage from the 2010 Giro d’Italia and I expect a similar battle for this year’s race,” continued Yates. 

Yates will start his season at Strade Bianche in early March, so he can test himself on the white roads of Tuscany in preparation for the gravel stage of the Giro.

He will then race Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of the Alps, completing an all-Italian preparation to the Giro, which runs from May 8-30.  

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Team BikeExchange’s head sports director Matt White said: “It’s a well-balanced Giro route.

“We have a real variety of stages with the epic white roads of Tuscany, some tricky hilltop finishes on dirt and of course the historic, brutal climbs of northern Italy in the last week.

“The low time trial kilometres are certainly an advantage for the pure climbers, but the rider that wins the 2021 Giro d’Italia will have to be a complete all-round athlete.”

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.