Adam Yates 'had some kind of parasite' just before the Tour de France 2020

The British rider's first race since lockdown was the Critérium du Dauphiné, just a couple of weeks before the Tour de France

(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Adam Yates started the Tour de France in good form with a third place finish on stage two and taking the yellow jersey two days later.

Yates came into the Tour with very little racing in the legs after only racing the Critérium du Dauphiné before the French Grand Tour, with his team revealing that he'd also suffered from a mystery illness a few weeks before the Tour.

"He had some kind of parasite - there was a lot of vomiting - we think from fountain water he drank." said his team according to BBC Sport.

"It knocked him for six - he had 10 days completely off the bike, then two or three weeks when he was certainly on restricted training. And that was right at the time when we are going hard on the training."

>>> Tour de France 2020: No riders test positive for coronavirus, but four staff members have

This makes his ride in the first week of the Tour even more impressive after taking the race lead from Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), who was penalised for taking a bottle inside the last 20km of stage five.

Yates looked in superb form on stage two when he attacked across to Alaphilippe, who went on to take the stage win, and Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb).

The race was then rather simple to control for Yates' team in the days after him unexpectedly going into yellow.

On the first day of the Pyrenees the other riders going for the general classification peppered the last climb with attacks but every time they came back together Yates managed to get back on.

While he couldn't follow any moves of the big favourites, he rode up the climb at his own pace and finished with them and kept yellow.

>>> Tour de France 2020: Five things to look out for during the second week

Stage nine saw Yates crack and slip out of yellow and dropped to eighth overall at just over a minute down on the new leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).

The British climber will likely now target stages in the coming mountain stages that pepper the end of week two and the final week of the race as he looks to improve his condition as he races on.

“I did everything I could. I said from the very beginning, even before the Tour started, that I wasn’t at 100 per cent,” Yates said after the finish of stage nine. “And I think we did well. We hung on for as long as we could. And yeah, there are a couple of guys going better than me. So I did the best I could and I think we can be proud.

“It’s a big honour riding in yellow,” he added. “It was good fun while it lasted.”

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Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!


I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.


It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.


After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.


When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.


My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.