Simon Yates could ride all three Grand Tours in a single year as he considers making a return to the Vuelta a España in August.
The Brit is currently racing his second three-week tour of 2019 at the Tour de France, after a disappointing tilt at the Giro d’Italia.
Mitchelton-Scott boss Matt White said the team had planned to take Yates to the Tour to support his brother Adam, but that selection depended on his form after the Giro.
After the Tour de France 2019 team time trial, Yates was asked if he would consider riding the Vuelta as well: “It would mean I’ve done four Grand Tours in a row, but why not?” he said.
Yates is the reigning Vuelta champion after his dominant performance in Spain last season, but struggled to perform in the Giro and had to settle for a top-10 finish.
At the Tour, Yates is adamant that he is racing in support of his twin brother Adam, appearing true to his word as he sat up and lost time on the stage two TTT and a punchy stage three.
On a possible Vuelta for Yates, sports director White said: “I won’t confirm or deny, but three Grand Tours in a year can be quite difficult.”
When asked if it had always been the plan to take Simon to the Tour de France, White said: “There was a plan in October but it was a plan that could only be carried out once we knew how he exited the Giro.
“Nobody is going to believe our plan until it happens. We’re not playing games, he’s here for the tail end of the race. We could have easily got him to the finish of stage two without losing any time but that wasn’t the way to get the most out of our TTT.”
Mitchelton-Scott are in a reasonably strong position at the Tour, with Adam Yates sitting 22nd overall, 1-06 behind the leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), 41 seconds behind Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) and 21 seconds down on Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos).
Simon Yates is now 81st, 10-03 down on the yellow jersey.