Simon Yates said Remco Evenepoel “was too strong” after the young Belgian stole a march on the rest of the field at the Tour of Poland with 50km to go, solo-ing to the line to take a commanding GC lead.
The Mitchelton-Scott rider formed part of the chase group with Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) to try and track down the Deceuninck – Quick-Step escapee but it was too little too late.
“It went okay,” Yates said, summarising the race. “I think we were looking for an aggressive race and we did that as a team, 60km from the finish or so, just to sort of whittle down the group and really put the pressure on Ineos and Carapaz.
“We did that successfully and it just kind of carried on from there. I managed to make the move there with Jakob and Rafal just to try and catch Remco but that was it. He was just too strong on the day.”
Before the start of stage four, Yates was only 10 seconds down on race leader Richard Carapaz, along with many other riders, and now sits third, two and a half minutes behind Evenepoel.
Things could have been different, however, as the Brit says he was changing his bike at the moment Evenepoel attacked.
“I was trying to force a bit of a selection on the earlier climbs and I just had a bit of mechanical that I needed to switch bikes at a very unfortunate time when Remco went,” Yates explained. “It was a big chase, which might have affected me in the final but he was still too strong I think, and he stayed away and chapeau to him.”