The Vuelta a España winner says his gut feeling says he'll return to Italy instead of the Tour de France next year

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), on the heels of his Vuelta a España victory, says “unfinished business” in the Giro d’Italia could see him shy away from the Tour de France in 2019.

He appeared to be on the winning road to Rome, only to crumble in the Giro’s 19th stage. He fell from first to 21st, with Chris Froome (Sky) taking the trophy and pink jersey instead.

“My gut feeling is that I’d like to go back to the Giro because I have unfinished business there,” Yates responded when asked about the Tour de France and the 2019 season.

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“I’ve not thought about it too much because I’ve been concentrating on [the Vuelta] and the World Championships. But my gut feeling is that’s where I’d like to try again.”

Yates placed seventh in the 2017 Tour de France and won the white jersey of best young rider. It marked his highest point in a Grand Tour prior to the Madrid celebrations on Sunday night.

Instead, the Australian WorldTour team could send Adam Yates again to the Tour in 2019. Twin brother Adam suffered in the heat this year, but returned to help win the Vuelta. The team also has Colombian Esteban Chaves for Grand Tours.

“We have a lot of time for that,” Yates said. “We will also have to look at the different parcours once they are announced.”

The parcours should come to light in October and November. In their team camp, Mitchelton will create a rough programme for their star riders based on what the Tour organiser ASO and Giro d’Italia organiser RCS Sport reveal.

Simon Yates on the podium of the Vuelta a España 2018 in Madrid (Sunada)

Yates next will race the Innsbruck World Championship road race in the British national team with Adam.

The 26-year-old won the Vuelta a España by dealing with Team Movistar’s Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, and late surges by Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) – eventual second and third overall.

Instead of Sky – the British team that helped Froome to his wins and Geraint Thomas to the Tour this summer – he relied on Orica/Mitchelton. He joined the Australian team in 2014 after riding for the British Cycling Academy because they wanted to develop him in Grand Tours.

“For me personally it has been a very long process. I don’t know what year it was or when exactly, but there was huge increase in funding for cycling in Britain, and that’s really when I started my cycling career, when I was much younger, and I came through the British system until I turned pro,” Yates said.

“I always had great support, I was always improving slowly until this moment. Of course, the last four years, since I turned pro, the team and myself have had the aim of trying to win a Grand Tour. That was reason I signed for the team – because I believed I could do it and they also wanted to develop around the guys who signed that year. And we’ve finally managed to do it. It’s an incredible achievement.”