Despite saying wearing the yellow jersey at the Tour de France is something you dream of as a kid, Adam Yates says those words would be the wrong way to describe his first ever day in the maillot jaune.
"Dreamed is the wrong word but when you grow up as a kid everyone wants to wear yellow at the Tour de France, that’s what you watch growing up," Yates said, still uncomfortable with the manner in which he took the jersey off of Julian Alaphilippe, after the Frenchman received a time penalty on stage five.
"It was a nice experience, hopefully we can keep it for a few more days at least and really savour it," Yates added, more positively. "We’re already looking forward to tomorrow and we’ll see how long we can keep it for."
Any hopes of GC action or Yates trying to take the stage win, which he said was still his plan despite being in the race lead, failed to materialise on the climb to Mont Aigoual.
After Alexey Lutsenko had taken the stage win from the breakaway, Alaphilippe attacked the GC group in the closing kilometre, finishing fifth and gaining one second over his rivals.
"From the start we controlled it quite well, there was a nice group up the road, no-one really dangerous to the GC," Yates explained of how the stage unfolded. "In the final, the steep climb was quite far out and the finish line wasn’t too hard, it was quite a shallow climb, so if you attacked there it was pretty difficult to gain seconds and you’d have made a big effort so I think everyone was just keeping kind of quiet and saving their energy for later days."
With stage victories still at the top of his wish list for the 2020 Tour, Yates says he will target the upcoming Pyrenean days.
"Like I've said from the beginning before I was sitting here in the yellow jersey, hopefully we can do something, today wasn't the day, it was a long flat stage before we hit the climb. Maybe it would have been a tricky stage to try and win. Maybe in the high mountains I can try something."
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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