Simon Yates lines up at the Vuelta a España with 'lessons learned and a different approach'
Team Director Matt White says "if you don't learn from the other races, then you are never going to reach your goals"
Simon Yates is heading to the Vuelta a España with "lessons learned and a different approach."
The Mitchelton-Scott rider led the Giro d'Italia for 13 days until Chris Froome took over to win.
Sports Director Matt White and the team took away critical experience from Yates's ride, which included three stage wins, before his collapse en route to Jafferau.
Yates went from race leader, holding the pink jersey from Sicily to the Alps, to 21st overall. The 26-year-old now aims at the Vuelta a España, starting August 25 in Málaga.
>>> Vuelta a España 2018 route
"It's a different race, different competition and different time of year. They are night and day, different style of races, they are different beasts," White told Cycling Weekly.
"We knew that we had to take time early on in the Giro, and on the way we won five stages. We will definitely be approaching the Vuelta in a different mindset."
Colombian team-mate Esteban Chaves won the mountain stage at Etna when Yates took the race lead. It started a tidal wave that included summit wins at Grand Sasso, Osimo and Sappada.
On the famous gravelled climb of the Colle delle Finestre, Yates began to buckle under pressure from Team Sky and Froome took off moments later.
The experience gave the Australian team and Yates critical information they need as they approach the Vuelta a España.
"Yes, there is [a lesson], but we are not going to make our plan public! If you don't learn from the other races, then you are never going to reach your goals," White said.
"We came up short of getting on the podium in the Giro, but we didn't plan on winning five stages against climbers, and Simon was also second to Froome on the Zoncolan stage.
"That was his first big real attack to try to win a grand tour. Now he's lining up again with some lessons learned and a different approach. We'll see how that approach works in August and September."
Yesterday, the team announced twin bother Adam Yates would race the Vuelta to support Simon. The Vuelta had not been on his plan.
Adam aimed for the Tour de France overall in July, but suffered from dehydration and lost time in the Alps. He rebounded well, nearly winning stage 16 to Bagnères-de-Luchon until a crash on the descent to town.
"It wasn't originally in his schedule, but plans change. We wanted him to go through the process of getting another grand tour in his legs," explained White.
"Things didn't go as we planned in the Tour, but if he didn't do the Vuelta it could have been another year before he race another grand tour. Racing another grand tour is going to be a valuable experience.
"We are using this as experience, to go through the process of a three-week tour and coming out on the tail-end stronger, and to be crucial support for his brother."
White and the team are thankful to have three riders able to compete in grand tours. Its third leader Chaves is not able to race the Vuelta, still rebounding from the Giro and being diagnosed with mononucleosis.
"Simon is on his way up after a break and Adam is in a different place after the Tour, but they support their teammates no matter who is the leader, if it is the brother or someone else.
"Esteban was pencilled in the Vuelta at first, but now probably won't race for the rest of the season. We know that if something happens to one of those guys, we always have on in the sidelines ready to step up. It's a bonus."
Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.
Geraint Thomas 'helps a brother out', aiding Mark Cavendish's valedictory Giro d'Italia stage win
Cavendish now has one final Giro stage win. Will he get one final Tour de France equivalent in July?
By Adam Becket • Published
Charlotte Kool wins final stage of RideLondon-Classique to seal overall victory
Kool edges out Dyget and Van der Duin in bunch sprint
By Stephen Puddicombe • Published